The weather pattern is all over the place… Some anglers were so desperate they were checking with SWMBO for a weather forecast for their Mohaka raft trip…
i.e. MetService forecast for December qualifies for inclusion in TRM Daily Report as even Turangi is mentioned three times (!) a record… described as having the second highest mean temperature, second-lowest mean minimum air temperature, and the driest? Confused? In other words they have no idea either….
(Images of Mt. Ruapehu from last Thursday. Blue Pool access images below were taken in 2011 – just to scare you)
Forecast dry weather over much of the country next week may be as good as it gets in December.
In its outlook for the month, MetService said high pressure and cooler southerlies would prevail next week. Most regions were expected to have relatively dry conditions, except eastern regions of the North Island and possibly also the Marlborough coast.
After that, low pressures were expected to return, bringing unsettled weather in the week before Christmas – December 17-23.
The bottom line was a “brief spell of summer” next week, but the North Island, Nelson and Marlborough were expected to have a cooler than usual December, and a high degree of rainfall volatility was expected, MetService said.
For the immediate future – Thursday – MetService said a series of troughs would spread over central and northern areas of the country during the morning, bringing rain or showers to many areas.
Daytime heating together with cold upper level temperatures would bring unstable conditions to many areas. There was a risk of thunderstorms and hail across the North Island.
Hailstones could get to 15mm in diameter in most parts of the North Island and to 20mm or larger in inland parts of Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne and about the eastern ranges of Taihape, Taupō and Bay of Plenty during the afternoon and early evening.
Thunderstorms in those areas could become severe producing localised downpours of over 25mm per hour, with significant hail accumulations.
There’s also a risk of thunderstorms in the northwest of the North Island.
In contrast, Friday is forecast to be mainly fine across the country, with just a risk of isolated showers in Northland, Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay and the Buller ranges.
During the month sea temperatures swung sharply and were now about 2C above average around most of the South Island, and about 1C above average around the North Island, MetService said.
On Wednesday, Niwa published its seasonal climate summary for spring – September-November. It said temperatures were near average for much of the country overall during the three months, but there were some exceptions.
Rotorua had its highest mean maximum air temperature for spring – 1.5C above normal at 17.7C. Places with second-highest mean maximums were Whitianga, Taupō, Hamilton, Te Kuiti, Turangi and Farewell Spit.
At the other end, Warkworth had its coldest spring on record, in terms of the mean minimum temperature, which was 1.5C below average at 8C. That was probably partly due to below normal soil moisture, with lower water vapour in the air allowing more longwave radiation to escape into space at night.
Taumarunui, Turangi and Kaikōura recorded their second-lowest mean minimum air temperatures for spring.
Takapau Plains, Oamaru, Middlemarch, Lauder and Gore had their wettest springs, while two stations in Auckland – on the North Shore and at Motat – had their driest springs, as did Turangi and Ohakune.
It was the first season since the summer of 2016-17 that none of the six main centres had above average temperatures, Niwa said.
So that should leave you more confused than ever?
If you are planning a visit, do not take any notice of Taupo forecasts! OK?
“Toe-paw” (Spelt phonetically correctly?) is fifty km north with a different weather pattern where it is usually much cooler due to the prevailing wind whipping across Lake Taupo.
Comparatively Turangi is tucked under the protective mantle of Mt. Pihanga and is more sheltered and much more friendly and closer to all the National Park attractions.
It is just better…
If you are planning a bucket list tramp on the Tongariro Crossing then it is important only to time it in fine weather – otherwise the 20 km 5-6 hour tramp is a waste of time.
If the weather turns nasty then we have several other better and shorter walks we can recommend – only 2 hours long to a waterfall or round a hidden lake – much more sensible – see images above.
Then there is more time to recover in local hot thermal pools as well. A much better day out all round.
If you are planning a fishing trip then come anyway – the trout do not mind getting wet.