Weather set to improve - expert

The weather for the end of January will finally calm down after the first few weeks were marked by thunderstorms, wind, and rain - as well as muggy, sunny days.

It's good news for Aucklanders looking forward to the long weekend, with the weather over next weekend's Auckland Anniversary break predicted to be mostly fine.

WeatherWatch head analyst Philip Duncan said January had so far been a changeable month, with settled weather in the north and hot sunny weather in the east - as well as "relentless spring-like systems" which brought gloomy weather to the south and flooding to the West Coast.

The outlook for the end of the month was looking better, he said.

"We're going to see far more high pressure systems over the top of New Zealand, which not only gives us lighter winds and dry weather, but they also help shield us from the wild tropical storms in the north and wintry storms in the Southern Ocean."

Auckland's long weekend, over the last weekend of January, was predicted to be mostly settled, with a high over New Zealand and possible easterlies in the north.

But Mr Duncan said Southland, Otago and the West Coast would remain vulnerable to unsettled weather for the rest of the month.

"However we do expect the weather to improve for these regions as well, with less rain and wind overall and more days with sun and warmth."

Mr Duncan said the tropics were still very active but New Zealand should be protected from tropical storms for the rest of the month.

It could be a different story next month, with the peak of the cyclone season usually occurring over February and March.

Long-range models showed a couple of tropical cyclones could form north of New Zealand in early February, potentially affecting Fiji and Samoa.

- APNZ

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