Wintery Blasts Ends, Now Back to Autumn

May 22, 2017

New Zealanders feeling the bite of what was for most, the coldest recorded temperature so far this year, will be happy to hear that a short-term upward trend in overnight lows is forecast. Alexandra dropped to -5.0C just before dawn Monday morning. Temperatures over North Island also plummeted, and those in the upper north even felt the chill with Whenuapai getting down to -0.7C, it’s 6th coldest May temperature in 74 years of record.

The same cold southwesterlies that laid the foundation for the cold overnight temperatures also brought large waves to the east coast of the both Islands yesterday. Cook Strait crossings were cancelled and waves of 10 meters were measured off the Wellington coast yesterday.

The week ahead looks changeable, starting with a ridge of high pressure over the country, followed by a trough moving up the South Island tomorrow and weakening as it slowly moves over central New Zealand on Wednesday. This trough is expected to bring a period of rain to western parts of both Islands, with a drier run expected for the east with only a few showers forecast there. This pattern continues for the later part of the week with another trough expected to move over the country from the south, bringing another period of rain to the west.

“With this typical Autumn weather pattern, the South Island’s western coasts are expected to bear the brunt of the rain” said meteorologist April Clark, “with the rest of the country, particularly in the east, only receiving the weakened blow of the front with plenty of sun in between.”

Observed temperatures over the country before dawn Monday (left) and forecast minimum temperature overnight tonight (right). 

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