Forecasters are picking plenty of summery weather for people in the North Island next week. Photo / George Clerk
Forecasters are picking plenty of summery weather for the North Island next week – but can’t guarantee Christmas Day barbecues won’t be spoiled by an unwelcome front.
Beyond a cool spell forecast for much of New Zealand over coming days, meteorologists are expecting high pressure to move over the country in what should be a warm and settled Christmas lead-up.
MetService meteorologist Lewis Ferris said long-range models indicated high pressure moving in next week – albeit with some rain approaching the very south of New Zealand a few days out from the holiday break.
“That rain that makes its way into the southwest of the country around the middle of next week, it looks like it doesn’t really get that far up the country straight away, with a high sitting over the North Island.”
At this point, it was likely that front would peter out around the west coast of the South Island over the back half of the week, while that high pressure in the north would hold out.
“But we still need to wait and see how that long-range picture develops in the coming week, and before that, we can’t give anything too precise about Christmas Day,” he said.
“It does look like high pressure will be close to our shores, so we’ve decreased the likelihood of a low having any sort of meaningful impact around Christmas – but people do need to keep an eye on the forecast and see how it develops.”
In northern centres like Auckland, forecast to see a run of days with temperatures reaching the mid-20s next week, familiar December humidity could also be a factor as people were out finishing their Christmas shopping.
“It probably will be relatively sticky – especially if winds aren’t too present next week,” he said.
“It’ll definitely be a change from what people are going to see this week.”
Christchurch was forecast to reach a high of only 15C today – which wasn’t much cooler than the 17C maximum predicted for Dargaville.
By the end of the week, however, those cool southwesterly winds will have eased for most regions – and temperatures were forecast to rise back into the 20s, with spots in the east like Hastings and Ashburton forecast to reach 28C on Friday.