Blue skies on the way for next weekend

By Juliet Rowan

Good news is on the horizon for those who feel they can't endure another rainy weekend.

The MetService says next weekend is likely to be fine in much of the country, including Auckland, which has not had a dry weekend since May.

"By the standards of what we've had over the last month or two, it's looking terrific," severe-weather forecaster Erick Brenstrum said.

He said Auckland was likely to benefit from an anticyclone forecast to cross the country on Saturday.

"The best way to get good weather in New Zealand is to have the wind cross the nearest mountain range before it gets to you, then any showers or cloud gets dumped in the mountains," he said.

"The reason we can look at Auckland and be reasonably optimistic about next weekend is we're looking at the likelihood of south or southeast winds blowing across the North Island."

He said showers were possible in eastern areas from Gisborne to Wairarapa, and maybe Wellington as the winds crossed the ranges but conditions were also likely to clear in those areas on Sunday.

Aucklanders would not have to worry about rain driving in from the west, as so often happened, because of the easterly flow of the anticyclone, Mr Brenstrum said.

Blue skies would make a welcome change for the city, again tormented by foul weather over the weekend.

The Fire Service attended about 10 weather-related jobs yesterday, in West Auckland, Avondale and Mt Roskill.

A spokesman for the northern communications centre said firefighters were called to two incidents involving damage to roofs, as well as trees down in other areas.

Surface flooding also caused problems for motorists and a major slip forced the closure of the main road into Kawakawa Bay.

A property at the top of the slip was evacuated and about 1500 people who live at the bay and Orere Pt are now having to use the much longer route through Kaiaua, on the Firth of Thames, to reach their homes.

Manukau City Council is monitoring the slip and plans to review the road closure today.

The slip started at the beginning of the month and partially closed the road, but the heavy rain at the weekend caused further debris to come down on the road.

Auckland has experienced a few dry Saturdays and Saturdays since May, but not two dry weekend days in a row.

The stormy weekends have caused the cancellation of many sports, with the strong winds proving too strong even for yacht races to go ahead.

- NZ Herald

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