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February 2011 Issue
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Metservice seasonal weather forecast

Metservice predicts the ongoing La Nina conditions will continue to impact New Zealand weather patterns during late summer and this may affect the plans of some trampers heading into the hills.

Bob McDavitt, Metservice weather ambassador, said anticyclones in the south Tasman Sea will bring extended warm and settled weather to the north and west of the North Island. While this is good news for late holiday makers in the area, the downside is that the easterly trade winds may blow further south than normal, occasionally bringing subtropical humidity and downpours to the northern and eastern parts of the North Island. “During the transition from one anticyclone to the next, weather is likely to be a mixed bag with troughs triggering showers. Cool southerly wind changes may bring a few squally thunderstorms to eastern districts.”

McDavitt also said because of La Nina, this season’s cyclone risk is slightly above average.

In Northland and Auckland rain is likely to normal or above normal with similar sunshine, frequent easterly winds, above average temperatures and Auckland’s speciality – humidity. “Take special note of any weather map that shows a large anticyclone lingering to the south with a low in the north. This is the recipe for vigorous easterly winds and driving rain for a day or two,” McDavitt advised.

 From Waikato through to Taumaranui and Taranaki, less than normal rain is expected in some inland areas, above average temperatures and the possibility of thunderstorms.

The Nelson-Marlborough region can expect a normal amount of rain, above normal temperatures, frontal north-westerly and southerly winds. “Fronts and troughs may be preceded by a few days with strong northerly winds. Some may bring a period of heavy rain to the mountains,” said McDavitt.

Westland and Canterbury high country can expect periods of settled weather, normal levels of rain and less wind than usual. South-western areas might experience close to normal weather, but the Southern Lakes and Central Otago may also get some afternoon heat showers. 

“There are likely to be several periods of settled weather around the country during late summer, so if you are heading for the hills try and time your trip to work in with these.”

The Metservice publishes seven-day forecasts on its website:

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