High Pressure Dominates

February 26, 2017

For most, the past week has been one which has restored our faith in the ‘Kiwi Summer’ as settled weather graced most of the country. A ridge of high pressure dominated New Zealand, supressing fronts as they moved up the South Island. This meant that those in the north remained generally dry with fine weather, while those further south still had to contend with a couple of plucky fronts trying to take on the ridge anchored in the north. This series of weakening fronts over the South Island meant places in the east experienced quite a range in maximum temperatures. Ashburton had a balmy week with temperature maximums reaching 32 degrees Celsius, but is only expected to reach 16 degrees today.

The high pressures to the north, which brought dry conditions to the Far North for much of summer, have now sunk further south over central New Zealand. Connected to this is a corresponding southerly shift of the subtropical jet stream linking to changes in weather a little further afield. “Due to the subtropical jet stream trending southwards, tropical depressions have more of a chance to develop because of lower wind shears,” said MetService meteorologist April Clark . “Though the life of the first Tropical Cyclone in the South Pacific this season (TC Bart) was fleeting, it shows a change from the settled pattern in the tropics so far this year”.

Back home, with the exception of the far south, the theme for Saturday was fine weather.  Some excellent conditions were had for many outdoor events across the country with temperatures hitting 22 degrees in Ohakea for the RNZAF Tattoo Air Display. Though southerlies and cloud in the east linger behind a weak front today things should fine up tomorrow, though isolated showers, some possibly heavy with thunderstorms are expected about the ranges and central New Zealand tomorrow. “Long live the high!” hailed Clark.


Aerial display in clear skies over Wellington as part of the RNZAF Tattoo. Credit Hannah Moes.

Official Severe Weather Watches and Warnings are reviewed and re-issued by MetService at least every twelve hours, and more often if necessary. To get the most up to date information on severe weather around the country, or any other forecasts, see metservice.com or on mobile devices at m.metservice.com. You can also follow our updates on MetService TV, at MetService New Zealand on Facebook@metservice  and @MetServiceWARN on Twitter and at blog.metservice.com

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