1 Oct 2015

October weather: the great divide

8:51 am on 1 October 2015

A very chilly September has had a happy ending, with sunny spells for Auckland, Northland and the Hawke's Bay - but what's in the pipeline for October?

Daffodils

Daffodils Photo: 123RF

New Zealand is set to be a country of two halves, says the MetService, with El Nino's impact making the west of the country wet and the east side dry.

That divide will persist throughout the country, with the Bay of Islands drier than Northland's west coast, continuing right the way down to the bottom of the South Island.

By and large, those divisions will run along mountain ranges: the Southern Alps will split the wet west (including the already rather damp West Coast) from the dry east.

In the North Island, a split across the Central Plateau will leave the Hawke's Bay high and dry, while New Plymouth gets its feet wet.

And the east-west split will extend into the country's temperatures: it'll be decidely spring-like in the eastern regions of New Zealand, while jumpers will still required in the west, where temperatures will remain below average.

"October temperatures are predicted to be average to above average in the east of both Islands. This will be a welcome change," said MetService Meteorologist Georgina Griffiths.

But it's not all rosy - New Zealand's typical springtime westerly gales are about to kick into gear, with slightly more wind than usual during October.

El Nino's effect will continue to be felt, but while it has reached very strong levels in the Pacific Ocean - the strongest since 1997 - the larger impact on mainland New Zealand remains to be seen.

MetService's latest forecasts predict that it will strengthen further between now and Christmas, peaking in December before easing off throughout the autumn.

In the meantime, New Zealanders will be reaching for their jumpers as well as their jandals, as changeable weather persists to the end of the year.

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