It’s go­ing to be a scorcher

Plenty of sun for week­end — but what will Gita bring?

The New Zealand Herald - - NEWS - Alice Pea­cock

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.

Pic­ture / Nick Reed

Keanu Rua is too warm for a shirt as he hangs out at North Wharf with Cherie Neave yes­ter­day.

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