It’s going to be a scorcher
Plenty of sun for weekend — but what will Gita bring?
In the latest episode of a season of extremes, it appears summer is back. Most of the country is in for a weekend of sunshine and scorching temperatures — but the good weather probably won’t stick around.
Metservice meteorologist Ravi Kandula said the forecast was fine for the North Island over the weekend, with sunshine expected for much of today and tomorrow.
“We expect that accumulations will only be significant rain-wise in Fiordland and Westland for the next few days,” Kandula said.
“Essentially, most of the country will be pretty good.”
Temperatures would hover around the mid 20s for most of the island, peaking in the high 20s.
The South Island could expect some cooler temperatures but the difference was “nothing too drastic”, Kandula said.
The weather looked set to take a turn for the worse early next week, with showers becoming heavy and temperatures dropping to the low 20s.
A drop in temperatures would be more dramatic as you headed down the country, with temperatures dropping as low as 17C in spots like Wellington and Christchurch.
Metservice said the impact Cyclone Gita would have on New Zealand was too far ahead to accurately forecast.
“Things are uncertain again with regards to the approach of that extropical cyclone.
“It really depends on how that system tracks over the next few days,” Kandula said.
“If you have a look at the severe weather outlook that is on Metservice that gives you an idea of the range of areas that can expect something.
“It’s a very broad area that is hopefully going to become more conducive as days progress.”
The tropical cyclone swept over Fiji on Tuesday, destroying a handful of buildings but leaving no reported injuries or fatalities in its wake.
Earlier this week the storm battered Tonga, where residents weren’t as lucky.
One person died and several others were injured when winds of up to 195km/h hit the small island nation.
Earlier this week Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said New Zealand’s Air Force Hercules has been approved to fly to Tonga to help with relief efforts.
A string of major weather events has made for a wet start to the year — with Niwa reporting total rainfall counts for the country so far have exceeded normal amounts by double in some places.
Greymouth took the lead with its total rainfall in 2018 so far sitting at 451mm.
This was followed closely by Hamilton with 418 mm — which exceeds the rainfall count for the same period last year by 216 per cent.
Statistics around Auckland’s rainfall over the start of the year showed the region had been drenched with more than one-third of the normal annual rainfall, just two weeks into February.
The upper North Island was expected to get another dousing of rain over the start of March.
Keanu Rua is too warm for a shirt as he hangs out at North Wharf with Cherie Neave yesterday.