Russell Blackstock is a senior reporter at the Weekend Herald and Herald on Sunday.

Holiday weekend's fine weather to last into week

Sunshine will be hard to avoid across New Zealand over Queen's Birthday weekend.

A high pressure ridge is settling over the country, bringing fine weather and clear skies in most places that is forecast to last into the middle of next week.

Even North Island ski areas such as Whakapapa - which don't open until next month - will see daytime temperatures climb to a respectable 12C.

"This is due to a subtropical air flow returning to NZ caused by the same high that has been bringing us recent frosts," WeatherWatch analyst Philip Duncan said.

Holiday spots including the Coromandel, Taupo, Tauranga and the Bay of Islands are expected to be mild during the day but cold in the evenings.

Auckland is expected to be 15C today but this could creep up to 17C by Monday.

Wellington is expected to reach 14C.

"Something awful is usually thrown at us over the long weekend at this time of year, but not this time," Mr Duncan said. "It looks like being settled, dry and with light winds into the early part of next week.

"People will still wake up thinking it is a bit cool but in general they can look forward to a really pleasant day. Monday looks like being the warmest day across the country."

There will be some cloudy patches with the prospect of light rain showers in a few areas, including Gisborne and eastern areas of Northland and the Coromandel, but otherwise expect a fine weekend.

However, it will still be chilly in the early mornings and evenings with frost expected in many places.

MetService forecaster Lisa Murray said Queenstown, Alexandra and Wanaka will reach 11C over the weekend but the weather could still be mixed.

"There is likely to be low cloud and morning fog in those areas which could linger," Ms Murray said.

This tends to burn off by lunchtime but may return in the early evening, she said, leading to cold nights.

- NZ Herald

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