It's great news for sun lovers but not so good for farmers -
the upper North Island's Indian summer is expected to
continue well into next month.
A network of large high pressure systems is holding firm over
the north, meaning the westerly jetstream that brings wetter,
colder weather for late autumn and winter remains parked over
the southern half of the country, MetService meteorologist
Daniel Corbett said.
"Slowly [the high pressure systems] will start tracking their
way north with the season and then we'll start getting more
westerlies, and that's when the weather systems have a bit
more bark and bite to them," Mr Corbett said.
"So enjoy it now. This is that nice part of autumn."
While the settled weather is great for grape and pipfruit
growers, farmers still recovering from last year's 50-year
drought were once again dealing with bone-dry conditions,
said WeatherWatch analyst Phillip Duncan.
"A lot of people now are very happy with the weather," Mr
Duncan said. "But the people that are dry are saying it is
drier than this time last year. I've had people telling me
that consistently since December."
WeatherWatch had predicted the dry summer, which followed a
period of unsettled weather in December.
"We were concerned that the dry pattern we had last summer
would continue through to this summer," Mr Duncan said.
"We are seeing now that dry pattern forming in the areas that
we predicted, which was the North Island mostly. Our concern,
and we said this back in February to Auckland Council and
Civil Defence, was there were no rain makers coming in March
except for Lusi. And that one tropical low missed a lot of
farmers in the driest parts of the country.
"I don't see any change for the north of the country. The
Indian summer definitely will continue through April. It will
get a little cooler for the South Island and Wellington as of
next week. That's because of a cool change that arrives later
The remnants of tropical cyclone Lusi had brought some relief
to dry areas but some parts of the Waikato in particular
received very little rain during the storm, Mr Corbett said.
"Waikato was like a patchwork quilt. The Kaimais had 100ml
but you went to the Waikato and they barely got 5ml.
"We just need a nice moist northwesterly system to bring the
rain back into these places, which hopefully will be in a few
"But we've got these nice big highs in the meantime and they
are helping to bring us nice fine weather."
- Steve Deane of the NZ Herald