Warm, wet, windy weekend weather ahead

The last weekend of the school holidays will be warm, wet and windy.

Record-breaking July temperatures are expected for parts of the North Island tomorrow, but that will be replaced by strong winds and heavy showers by Sunday.

Temperatures up to 21C could be reached in parts of Auckland, Waikato and Northland tomorrow as long as the sun comes out, WeatherWatch analyst Philip Duncan said.

"Saturday will be unseasonably warm across most of the North Island due to a sub-tropic wind flow coming from Queensland," he said. "As a result, a few records could be broken."

Bad news is the heat won't last and tomorrow night it will be colder than average across the country.

Severe gale winds of up to 120km/h will whip up from the foot of the South Island overnight bringing rain to most areas by Sunday.

"Strong northwesterlies will move north from the South Island on Saturday reaching places like Wellington later in the day," Duncan said.

"These could reach hurricane force in the Cook Strait then hug the coast up through Taranaki before reaching Waikato and Auckland.

"This could lead to some bumpy flights in and out of Auckland Airport on Sunday.

"But the rain that will come with the winds will be welcome in Canterbury where there is a bit of a drought."

Police have issued warnings to motorists to take extra care in the central district this weekend -- particularly through and around the Desert Road.

Three people died in a crash on the Desert Road on Monday when a car collided with a truck.

But although snow could fall in the area at the weekend, this is not likely to be as heavy as it was last week and icy conditions are not expected due to strong winds.

By Sunday temperatures across the country will be more typical for this time of year -- from 11C to 15C.

"People are complaining about how cold it has been this winter," Duncan added. "But it has actually been pretty normal for this time of year.

"Some of the unusually warm weather we have been having just makes it seem like it is colder."

NZH

[NZME-NZG-NZS]

-NZH

- NZ Herald

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