Weather Brief 24 January: Turning Dry Again for the North IslandAfter heavy rain brought some relief to parched areas of the North Island during the weekend, going forward it appears that high pressure could cause another period with little if any precipitation for the same areas.
A front moving north will deliver heavy rain to the West Coast from tonight into early Wednesday morning, but the westerly wind flow will leave only isolated showers for regions such as Otago and Canterbury. In the North Island, scattered showers will reach southern and western areas on Wednesday, but rainfall in these places will generally be light. Isolated showers may also impact Auckland, Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne later in the day, but rainfall amounts in these places will be minimal. Also, with winds behind the front shifting to the southwest temperatures will once again be cooler than average.
Thursday will feature high pressure delivering pleasant conditions to the North Island along with the northern and eastern South Island. However, a front draping across southern New Zealand will bring periods of rain to the West Coast and Southland. In fact it will likely be a fairly wet day for Invercargill, while scattered showers will move as far north as Dunedin.
Friday could see a few light showers in the South Island during the morning before a large area of high pressure in the Tasman Sea causes clearing by the afternoon. The dry weather should also be found throughout the day in the North Island. This is good news for those planning to go out on Friday evening, as dry albeit cool weather is expected across the country.
Looking into the longer-term forecast, there are indications that high pressure will be a dominant feature around the North Island heading into early February. While this will mean generally tranquil weather that will be compatible with outdoor plans, it also means that rainfall will likely be sparse in the coming weeks. Unfortunately this is bad news for dry areas of the North Island, including Auckland, Northland and the eastern coast. It is likely that soil moisture levels will continue to fall in the near future, which is problematic for farmers and also increases the risk of brush fires.
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