Weather Watch

Weather analyst Philip Duncan checks the forecast and the story behind the temperatures

Weather Watch: Sunny start to daylight saving

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File photo / Doug Sherring
File photo / Doug Sherring

Sunday saw one of the best starts to daylight saving that I've seen in years. Not only did both the North and South Island take the national high with 24 degrees in Napier and Kaikoura, but several other centres also climbed into the 20s including Auckland and Christchurch.

Wellington and Dunedin didn't do too badly either with 18 degrees.

It's important to remember that one storm does not mean winter is back. Last week the nation was under an extraordinary weather event but this week it's back to the normal spring basics - wet in the South Island's west coast, windy in central New Zealand and warm in the north and east of both islands.

Yes, there are more rain and wind warnings likely to be issued this week but the important thing to note is where they are hitting.

Our most damaging weather doesn't always happen in the areas with the most severe weather. Case in point - last week's storm. Auckland suffered a fair bit of damage but wind warnings were dropped last Saturday. Damaging winds continued off and on until Wednesday.

It makes me wonder if perhaps our warning thresholds should be different for each region? For example, Fiordland rain warnings are issued all the time - but the area is a rain forest and is built for it.

So do we really need to know if 100mm of rain is going to fall over the next day or so?

Likewise, gales in Wellington are often treated as a non-event by locals - it's normal weather. In Auckland those same winds will cause damage, though. Also, 140km/h wind gusts in parts of Wairarapa and Hawke's Bay often don't cause damage. You put those winds into Christchurch or Hamilton, and you'll have major damage.

I suppose we need consistency in our warnings for safety reasons though - and different thresholds for each region could become very confusing. It was just an idea I had the other day... what do you think?

But back to this week - the weather is still not perfect. As I said, we have more rain and wind warnings likely - heavy rain on the West Coast and gales possible around central New Zealand.

The good news? It's going to be warm, with most places reaching late teens and in the east and north low to mid twenties. Even Southland is likely to climb into the upper teens - wonderful news for farmers dealing with last week's deadly snow storm.

There may be even more good news - long-range computer models are currently saying most centres in New Zealand will have a sunny weekend this weekend and a sunny start to next week as a large high drifts in from the Tasman Sea.

At this time of the year I'll definitely take a "I'll believe it when I see it developing" attitude towards these computer predictions... but I gotta say, it's nice to see a high back in the long range forecasts. Fingers crossed it goes this way.

I'll let you know the progress mid week!

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