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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

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Temperatures to drop this weekend

Posted at 9:26am Friday 08 Sep, 2017

Spring is in full force in Tauranga, with four seasons in one day this week.

A couple of SunLive readers have managed to snap some amazing photos of what the sky has been doing in Tauranga this week.

One reader caught a rainbow and another captured a reflection which looked like a UFO in the clouds.

So far, Tauranga has seen rain, strong winds, sun and chilly temperatures.

And things aren’t looking much different this weekend.

Overnight lows are forecast to drop to five and four degrees this weekend as a deep low brushes past New Zealand.

A rainbow snapped by Nici Rini on Thursday.

Sporadic rain and showers are also on the cards for the Tauranga region.

“The centre of a very deep low in the Southern Ocean will cross/brush southern New Zealand on Saturday with various computer models agreeing the air pressure will be in the 960 hPa range for a time (deeper air pressure means the low is spinning faster and becoming more powerful),” says

Both GFS (American) and ECMWF (European) agree the low will bottom out in the low to mid 960 hPa range on Saturday morning at some point - then as it tracks around Stewart Island/Southland area it will start to weaken with the air pressure rising quickly into the 980s by Sunday, as the low lies east of Otago.

"In a nut shell this short lived storm is tracking out of the Southern Ocean area and into the South Pacific, as it tracks towards and crosses the Stewart Island and Southland areas it will weaken quiclkly, partially due to NZ’s landmass, rapidly weakening into Sunday morning," says head forecaster Philip Duncan.

Deep lows from out of the Southern Ocean are normal at this time of the year - and normal to see them quickly fall apart once they run into the strong spring westerlies. 

Despite the deep low air pressure, the rapid weakening late Saturday and into Sunday means severe weather isn’t expected to be widespread, but please keep up to date with forecasts. 

This photo was taken by Rosalie Liddle-Crawford at Mount Maunganui this morning.

Gales, heavy rain and snow are all possible this weekend as this system tracks past slowly - so too are further thunderstorms with squalls and hail.

The cold change behind this low will be short lived - but wintry with snow on the alpine passes and flurries lowing to a few hundred metres for a time. Sunday and Monday will be colder nationwide but by Tuesday the milder spring westerlies return to the country.

The large size of this low is helping spread the energy further, explaining why it’s blustery for many regions but for most it’s quite a bit below warning levels.

“Government forecaster MetService may issue tax funded warnings for wind, rain in the coming days, also snow forecsasts for alpine passes so please keep up to date with them too.

“Welcome to spring 2017! The westerly winds have arrived early this year! (often they start around the equinox in another two weeks, but each year it varies here).”

The sun rays coming through from Moturiki Island. Photo: Sharnae Hope.

The beautiful orange sunset from Matapihi Rd looking across the Waterfront. Photo: Sharnae Hope.



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Enjoying Tauranga’s waterfront. Photo: Scott K MacLeod.

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