Happy new weather, New Zealand.
A dull Christmas, damp Boxing Day and unsettled last few days of the year look set to give way to a drier and warmer New Year’s.
The latest forecast for our welcome into 2020 looked great for most, according to a WeatherWatch bulletin.
“New Year’s Eve is fast approaching and the latest forecast at this stage is looking excellent for many places … at this stage 95 per cent of the country looks dry with the only wet weather likely affecting Fiordland after dark on New Year’s Eve.
“Some patchy rain and showers may also arrive in Southland later in the day, but this isn’t yet locked in for sure.”
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New Year’s Eve temperatures also looked mild in many regions, WeatherWatch said.
Meanwhile, spring-like weather patterns are set to continue across the country in the lead up to New Year’s Eve, in part because of a big high that’s brought scorching temperatures and fuelled bush fire misery across the Tasman.
Today would continue to be unsettled, with showers for the central and upper North Island and large swathes of the South Island, and the outlook wasn’t much better for the rest of the week.
In fact, on Saturday, it’s worse, MetService meteorologist Andy Best said.
“We’re in very unsettled, almost spring-like conditions. We’re seeing endless fronts coming across the Southern Ocean.”
Fickle weather would continue tomorrow, with isolated showers in central North Island areas but fine conditions elsewhere. Showers would turn to rain west of the main divide in the South Island where heavy falls are possible.
The rest of the South Island would be mainly fine, although rain was expected at times from eastern Otago south, Best said.
Temperatures would remain close to average – high teens to low 20s – across the country today and tomorrow but cold weather was on the way for the weekend.
“A cold front spreads north on Saturday and showers will be spreading from the south [over the North Island] during the morning. That should clear late in the day.”
In the South Island most places would have showers, except the top of the South Island, he said.
The front also means much cooler weather for many. Single-digit lows are expected in several places overnight Saturday – Hamilton and Blenheim will drop to 7C, and Alexandra and Masterton to a chilly 5C.
Best wasn’t sure how much more sub-par summer weather Kiwis had ahead of them.
The current pattern was thanks to a large ridge of high pressure trapped over Australia, which has been baking under record-breaking high temperatures and where a raging bush fire season had killed at least nine and destroyed hundreds of homes.
The high was blocking southerlies from coming on to Australia, which were then being re-directed to our shores.
“[The southerlies] want to push into Australia, but they’re only hitting Victoria and Tasmania, and then strong westerlies are bringing them across to New Zealand.”