Mostly dry Labour Weekend weather expected across the country

It will be an outdoorsy Labour weekend for many. Photo/Glenn Taylor
It will be an outdoorsy Labour weekend for many. Photo/Glenn Taylor

Two out of three ain't bad.

That's what Kiwis can expect from their Labour weekend weather, two good days and one average day, WeatherWatch head analyst Philip Duncan says.

A high is sandwiched between two bouts of inclement weather, the first due to blow through late tomorrow and the later to arrive overnight Tuesday.

"Everywhere is going to have a couple of really good days and one average one ... the weekend starts off with a slight southerly change, making for a chilly Saturday morning for some places ... there may be some frosts for sheltered inland areas around Northern Southland and Central Otago.

"Warmer weather returns during Sunday and Monday. As we say just about every single year, we usually have two settled days and one unsettled one for most regions, as is the nature of spring."

There was no standout location, but the Bay of Plenty and Taupo could clear to a nice weekend after downpours and thunderstorms cleared tomorrow night.

Canterbury could also be warm at times, he said.

Most places would be dry for much of the holiday weekend, with showers only likely around Gisborne or East Cape on Saturday and rain from Fiordland possibly rolling northwards into South Westland on Sunday.

High pressure would dominate the entire North Island on Sunday, Duncan said.

"Apart from cloudy areas, the day is calm and settled and dry and milder than Saturday was. In the South Island it's a fairly dry and settled day too, with northerly quarter winds developing in most regions and dry in the east."

By the end of the long weekend a low from the Tasman Sea is expected to move in and bring with it plenty of cloud across the country and rain or showers for northern and western regions of both islands.

The low had been expected to arrive on Monday, but it was now likely to roll through in the early hours of Tuesday, as Kiwis prepare to return to work and school, Duncan said.

"Monday looks cloudier as the day goes on across many areas, although Gisborne, East Cape and Hawke's Bay are likely to have some of the best weather on Monday."

Motorists escaping the cities can expect delays at choke points over Labour weekend. Photo/Dean Purcell
Motorists escaping the cities can expect delays at choke points over Labour weekend. Photo/Dean Purcell

Care on roads urged

Meanwhile, the New Zealand Transport Agency is reminding drivers to plan ahead to avoid delays and stay safe over the busy Labour weekend.

The agency's Waikato and Bay of Plenty State Highways Manager, Niclas Johansson, said a lot of construction and maintenance was happening on highways across the country.

"We ask motorists to slow down through these sites. Even when there's not obvious work taking place there are hazards that mean you should keep within the reduced speed limit to keep yourselves, your families and other road users safe. It also reduces damage to what can be newly surfaced or repaired roads."

Projected congestion hotspots, including times, could be found here.

"If you can travel outside of these busiest times it will help reduce your chances of being stuck in a queue and help keep traffic moving."

Real time information can be found by calling 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49) or going to www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic

The AA has also urged motorists to take care on the roads this weekend, with a particular emphasis on belting up. Almost 70 people not wearing seat belts had died in crashes so far this year.

AA spokesman Simon Douglas said motorists could also protect themselves and others by watching their following distances, sticking to safe speeds for the conditions and giving their full attention to the wheel.

Five people died on New Zealand roads during Labour weekend last year.

Road safety charity Brake urged drivers to make sure both they and their vehicle were fit to drive before setting off, and during the journey.

Brake's New Zealand director Caroline Perry said that meant taking a minimum 15 minute break from driving every two hours, switching their phone off while at the wheel and getting enough sleep before a journey.

Key checks before a journey should include tyre tread depth and pressure, lights and indicators, oil, water and windscreen wash levels and making sure windows and mirrors are clean and clear.

With a mostly dry Labour weekend expected, boaties will be tempted onto the water. Photo/Sarah ivey
With a mostly dry Labour weekend expected, boaties will be tempted onto the water. Photo/Sarah ivey

'Simple preparation can avoid potential disaster'

The Coastguard is also warning those planning water activities over Labour weekend to check their boats first.

Coastguard New Zealand chief executive Patrick Holmes said more than 200 people were helped as the Coastguard responded to 80 incidents over Labour weekend last year.

"It's always a busy time for Coastguard and we recommend skippers get boat engines serviced, check batteries, fuel lines, oil, propellers, water pumps and other hardware before heading out.

"On average, about 23 boaties die each year. This is far too many and some simple preparation before heading out can avoid potential disaster."

Finding accurate tide and marine weather forecast information before launching and having two separate waterproof communication devices on board is good practice.

There should also be a correctly fitting lifejacket on board for every person.

More information, including on changes to VHF channels, can be found
here.

WHANGAREI
Saturday: Showers clearing, becoming fine. 18C
Sunday: Mainly fine. 20C
Monday: Cloud increasing. 19C

AUCKLAND
Saturday: Showers clearing, becoming fine. 17C
Sunday: Mainly fine. 19C
Monday: Cloud increasing. 19C

HAMILTON
Saturday: Odd early shower, then fine. 19C
Sunday: Mostly fine. 20C
Monday: Cloud increasing. 20C

TAURANGA
Saturday: Early shower clearing, then fine. 19C
Sunday: Mainly fine. 20C
Monday: Cloud increasing. 19C

TAUPO
Saturday: Odd early shower, then fine. 16C
Sunday: Mainly fine. 19C
Monday: Cloud increasing. 19C

WELLINGTON
Saturday: Showers clearing, fine breaks. 14C
Sunday: Mainly fine. 14C
Monday: Cloud increasing, showers developing. 17C

NELSON
Saturday: Fine. 16C
Sunday: Increasing high cloud. 17C
Monday: Rain developing. 17C

CHRISTCHURCH
Saturday: Fine, with morning frosts. 15C
Sunday: Cloud periods. 15C
Monday: High cloud. 18C

DUNEDIN
Saturday: Fine. 18C
Sunday: Cloudy periods. 14C
Monday: High cloud, spot of rain later. 15C

- NZ Herald

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