Westerlies on the way this week

Westerlies are on the way for much of the country this week, but there shouldn’t be any heavy rain until the weekend for most. File photo.

A slow moving ridge of high pressure has reigned over New Zealand for the last few days, with the absence of significant weather the most notable weather feature.

"Much of New Zealand has enjoyed a mostly fine and dry end to the working week and start to the weekend,” says MetService meteorologist Hannah Moes.

"Temperatures have been normal for this time of year, with overnight minimums lending an autumnal feel to our mornings and evenings, dipping into the single digits for many places under the clear skies. Only some inland parts of the country reached below zero over the last few days, with -1.9C recorded at Waiouru and -0.9C at Pukaki in the early hours of Friday.”

The ridge has begun to move away from New Zealand throughout the weekend, and a very familiar pattern of northward-marching fronts embedded within a broad-scale westerly flow covers the country for the coming few days.

“A front crossed the North Island this morning, and rain has begun to fall about the southwest of the South Island with the next front.

"This rain is expected to spread to western areas elsewhere throughout today and overnight, accompanied by a risk of thunderstorms for the western South Island. A Severe Weather Warning is in place for severe gale westerlies across coastal Southland and Clutha, including Stewart Island, from 11pm tonight to 8pm Monday, as another front brushes the far south.

"Meanwhile, eastern areas can continue to enjoy mostly fine and dry weather start to the week.”

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