The battle between the Ridge and the Trough

March 2, 2017

“Beach goers and barbecue lovers have been enjoying the ridge of high pressure sitting over central New Zealand of late,” said MetService Meteorologist Lisa Murray. “As we head into the weekend the weather map is changing as a trough pattern pushes the ridge out of the way, and sends a cold front up the country,” she added.

By Friday night this cold front will have moved up much of the South Island bringing a period of rain to the West Coast and some showers in the east. Ahead of this front the northerly winds pick up through Cook Strait and behind the front strong southerlies dominate. Around the south coast of the South Island the strong westerly winds persist through the weekend.

On Saturday, the southwest flow over the country continues as a ridge in the north Tasman Sea battles to move onto New Zealand. This means that there will be cloud at times and showers for a few places, including the Ironman event in Taupo (showers will be mainly in the west).  The sky on the eastern side of the country should become mostly fine; for Wellington, this will happen after the weak southerly passes through which will be perfect weather to listen to some of the best of New Zealand music talent at Homegrown.

“Cloud backs up along the west coast of both Islands Sunday morning with some places seeing some showers, in the east and central regions morning cloud burns off giving plenty of sunny weather for getting those outdoors jobs done before Autumn sets in,” said Murray, “For those running Around the Bays in Auckland, a settled day is in store, while the morning cloud will help keep things a little cooler to start with.”

Murray added, “Looking out to next week there is a low developing in the Coral Sea which could head our way. This low should be a good ‘rain-maker’, so depending which port it arrives in, it could bring much needed rain to the farming community from next Tuesday.”

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As with all forecasts the further out you look the less confidence in the accuracy of the forecast, so we always recommend that you check the latest forecast when making plans and before you head out. It is good to check if there are any watches/warnings for your area at 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. Have a great weekend! 

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