Leaping Into Autumn

Published: Thu 29 Feb 2024 02:06 PM
Covering period of Thursday 29 February - Monday 4 March
While leap day extends summer for another day, tomorrow on March the 1st we welcome meteorological autumn.
Settled late summer weather continues into Friday as southerly winds ease and a ridge of high pressure spreads over the motu. But, as the season changes, MetService is forecasting a change in the weather.
The weekend starts with a weak front making its way up the South Island, which will bring rain and strengthening northwesterlies, especially in the west. In eastern areas the strong northwesterly flow leads to hotter temperatures and dry conditions.
MetService Meteorologist Juliane Bergdolt says, “Daytime maximums are expected to reach the high-twenties in eastern areas, with Blenheim set to reach 31°C on Saturday.”
The front moves north on Sunday, bringing heavy rainfall to central North Island areas before moving away in the evening.
Meanwhile, an active, fast-moving cold front approaches the lower South Island late on Sunday, then continues over the island on Monday. It is accompanied by heavy rain for western areas and northwesterly gales in central and eastern parts of New Zealand.
Bergdolt advises, “Severe Weather Warnings associated with this front will be issued in the coming days, so keep an eye on as the situation develops.”
Strong southwesterly winds behind the front bring a dramatic shift to cooler conditions, with maximum daytime temperatures in just the mid-teens for southern parts of the South Island on Monday and Tuesday. The colder air runs northwards across the country, bringing some snowfall to the tops of the Southern Alps for the early hours of Monday morning.

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