Showers and thunderstorms forecast for the Bay

File Photo.

With the holiday festivities in full swing, the country is set for plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures over the weekend, after what was a pretty wet Christmas day for many.

Auckland saw rainfall totals of 30-60mm across the region whilst the weather station in Kelburn, Wellington recorded 18.4mm during the 24 hours.

But the wettest region was the Bay of Plenty, where one station recorded 100mm of Christmas day rainfall.

For the lower South Island however, the weather didn’t disappoint with blue skies and sunshine, and Wanaka topped the temperature charts reaching 30.3C.

"The good news is that the low pressure and rain which affected most North Islanders over Christmas eve and day has moved away from New Zealand to the southeast", says MetService meteorologist James Millward.

"High pressure is building over the country, and this means on the whole the weather will feel a lot more summery over the coming days."

However, for Bay of Plenty, Taupo, Gisborne and Hawkes Bay things will not settle down until later in the weekend with active showers and thunderstorms forecast for these regions this afternoon and tomorrow.

"A lingering trough over the central North Island is expected to bring some localised but significant rainfall, especially overnight and tomorrow morning, with a Severe Weather Watch for Heavy Rain issued for eastern Bay of Plenty, Gisborne and northern Hawkes Bay from this evening to the morning of Friday 28th.

"With lots of holiday-makers and campers around these areas, localised downpours could have a significant impact, especially on top of the rainfall totals we have seen earlier this week."

Northwesterly winds develop over the South Island this weekend and whilst this will bring rainfall to Fiordland, Westland and Buller especially, it will mean warm temperatures right across the country. For festival revellers at Rhythm and Vine in Gisborne, the weekend maximums will approach 29C, whilst the sister festival, Rhythm and Alps in Wanaka, can expect tops of 27C.  

These warm temperatures will continue into the New Year’s period for both Islands, but in a reversal of the Christmas weather, it looks like the South Island is in for wetter weather on New Year’s Eve with the North Island looking mostly dry.

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