A Soupy Start to Autumn

March 26, 2017

The past Monday marked the Autumn Equinox, where the length of our day shortens by a greater amount than any other day of the year. Early morning risers may have noticed recently sunrises rapidly becoming later, ushering on that Autumn feel with days becoming shorter.

Though some may not be ready to say goodbye to summer it hasn’t been a cold start to Autumn with maximum temps over the North Island remaining in the late teens to mid twenties. Things were a bit cooler in the south on Tuesday after a cold front moved northwards over the South Island, dropping the maximum temperatures in Dunedin and Christchurch by six degrees from Monday to Tuesday. Though this front weakened as it moved north it marked the start of a cloudier week than the past one where high pressure ridges were the dominating force. For weather enthusiasts having the extra cloud about tied in nicely with World Meteorological Day (WMD) on Wednesday with the theme being “Understanding clouds”. This year WMD marked the launch of the International Cloud Atlas which is a visual catalogue of all the classified cloud types. The image below was submitted by Ian Rushton in a competition in celebration of clouds for WMD at metservice.com

On Saturday the ‘soup’ over the country began to thicken as a low to the northwest of the North Island began to sink south. However, conditions weren’t a complete white wash for many events over the country yesterday with Adele fans at her concert in Auckland avoiding the rain for the most part last night.  Those who arrived early to the Cupa Dupa in Wellington were able to enjoy the festival with only a few spots of rain, while those who went for the evening had a damper time with on and off rain.  As the low continues to sink south today meteorologist April Clark said “It will generally be a wetter day today [compared to Saturday]. Some falls will be heavy for a time in areas north of Bay of Plenty as a front spiralling off the low to the west sinks southwards. Severe weather watches have been issued for these areas.“

Though conditions have been fairly wet this weekend (and likely to remain wet for many in the North Island tomorrow with thunderstorms likely) those on the coast of North Queensland certainly have it worse with Tropical Cyclone Debbie forecast to make landfall near Townsville on Tuesday next week.

Photo by Ian Rushton submitted for World Meteorological Day. Many cloud layers can be seen in this shot over Piha, starting with broken cumulus at the lowest level, layered with what looks like some alto cumulus, then a wispy layer of cirrus at the highest level.

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

MetService issues Warnings, Watches and Outlooks for severe weather over New Zealand.

Warnings are about taking action when severe weather is imminent or is occurring. They are issued only when required.
Recommendation: ACT 

Watches are about being alert when severe weather is possible, but not sufficiently imminent or certain for a Warning to be issued. They are issued only when required.
Recommendation: BE READY 

Outlooks are about looking ahead, providing advance information on possible future Watches and/or Warnings. They are issued routinely once or twice a day.
Recommendation: PLAN 

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