INDEPENDENT NEWS

A Mix Of Weather To Close The Month

Published: Mon 29 Jan 2024 12:51 PM
Covering period of Monday 29 January - Saturday 3 February
MetService is forecasting a mix of weather for the last week of January, leading into a windy and cool start to February. This mix is due to a low pressure system situated northeast of the North Island, bringing wet weather to Tairāwhiti/Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay. This system will retreat mid-week, making way for a ridge of high-pressure. Come Friday, a fresh set of fronts from the Tasman Sea will introduce gusty winds and cooler temperatures for the following days.
Aotearoa New Zealand has just had a weather-packed weekend; parts of the Westland District received over 200 mm of rain in the 12 hours leading into Saturday morning, while the central and eastern North Island had a wet Sunday. Much of the Waikato measured 80 to 100 mm of rain, however, thunderstorms in the area brought exceptionally high hourly rain rates that resulted in some areas receiving upwards of 170 mm of rain in 18 hours to Sunday morning.
As we enter the week, several regions commemorate anniversary days, and MetService meteorologist Mmathapelo Makgabutlane provides insights, “Partly cloudy weather is expected across the top half of the North Island, offering ample opportunity to enjoy the public holiday in Northland and Auckland. A few showers are forecast this afternoon and evening, with the possibility of some heavier ones along Northland’s western coast. As for Nelson, Tasman, and Buller, it’s sunny skies all the way for their anniversary day.”
The low-pressure system that brought Sunday’s rain to the North Island is now situated northeast of the country, feeding moisture onto Tairāwhiti/Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay. Makgabutlane notes, “A Watch for Heavy Rain has been issued for the Wairoa District from 7 pm on Monday to 7 am Tuesday. The rain is likely to persist into Wednesday, albeit at lesser intensities.”
For the rest of the country, the week will feature a blend of sunny to partly cloudy weather and some spots may get the occasional shower.
The beginning of February heralds a sharp weather change as a strong frontal system moves up the country on Friday. Its approach is preceded by a cranking up of westerly winds across the country on Friday, which lasts into the weekend. Makgabutlane advises, “As people head into the weekend, it's advisable to stay updated with the latest forecasts in case any Watches or Warnings are issued that may affect travel plans.”
The weather system also brings a temperature drop, starting over the South Island on Friday and reaching the lower and central North Island by Saturday. Alexandra and Taumarunui are forecasted to go from highs of 29°C on Wednesday to just 18°C and 19°C respectively on Saturday. “Friday and Saturday will certainly look and feel quite different from the start of this week,” remarks Makgabutlane.
For those planning an extended weekend ahead of Waitangi Day, early indications suggest that, aside from the occasional shower in Fiordland, a ridge of high pressure is poised to bring settled weather on Monday and Tuesday for the rest of Aotearoa New Zealand.

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