Enjoy the golden weather while it lasts

Rain forecast for the end of capital's fine spell

Last updated 10:36 28/01/2013
Wellington summer
DIEGO OPATOWSKI/Fairfax NZ

COOLING DOWN: From left, Marissa Walmsley, Ashley Switzer and Shannon Lenihan took to the water at Oriental Bay yesterday to combat the heat.

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Enjoy the hazy heat while it lasts, because all good things must come to an end - and rain is on the forecast at the end of Wellington's lengthy fine spell.

MetService said Wellington and Wairarapa would still get the full 10 days of summer promised, but once that was over, rain would set in.

The curtain call to the golden weather was expected early next week.

"Everything does come to an end unfortunately, and eventually surrounding lows will start nibbling away at the edges of the high that's been stuck over the country," forecaster Daniel Corbett said.

It was "extremely rare" for New Zealand to get 10 days of hot and settled weather anywhere in New Zealand, let alone Wellington, Corbett said.

Two weather systems sitting at the south-east and north-west of New Zealand would begin eating away at the current high.

"We've been lucky, because the current system has been stuck in exactly the right place," Corbett said.

"It's sitting just south of Wellington and east of Christchurch. Last year, a high got stuck just north of New Zealand but it was just too high to get the good effects, and we were left with a lot of rain.

"Once this fine period ends, it could be a little unsettled and then we could see a few more fine days through the end of summer, but it's unlikely we'd get 10 days in a row again."

MAKING WAVES WHILE THE SUN SHINES

Just as most of us are back to school and back to work, Wellington has turned on a sustained burst of sunshine.

The warm sunny weather that had residents flocking to the capital's beaches during the weekend is set to continue right through the Hertz Sevens on Friday and Saturday.

Today's temperature in Wellington is predicted to hit 26 degrees Celsius, matching the region's high yesterday, recorded in Masterton.

Lower Hutt had a high of 25C yesterday and 24C on Saturday. Sea breezes kept things a little cooler on the Kapiti Coast, where it was 21C on Saturday.

The capital's light southerly breezes kept temperatures down. It was 23C in the central city at 5pm yesterday as Mt Victoria resident Ashley Switzer and friends Marissa Walmsley and Shannon Lenihan headed to Oriental Bay beach for a swim.

Mr Switzer, 27, is the manager of the Mishmosh bar in Courtenay Place, where he works at night, allowing him to make the most of the daytime sun.

"The good weather is good for business in the bar. People like to cool off by coming down to Courtenay Place for a drink after a swim on the beach."

MetService duty forecaster Ian Gall said Wellington could expect mid-20s temperatures for the whole week and "the anticyclones should continue through until Sunday. The good news is we are in for a good week."

The fine spell is expected to last until next Monday.

About 100 competitors also made the most of the weather, crawling their way around the harbour in Adventure Wellington's annual paddle boat race.

Organiser Roy Hoogmoed said Saturday's race from the lagoon to the marina and back was "comic entertainment" and "the slowest race ever". Most pedallers came dressed up and armed with water guns and water balloons to fire at each other.

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Contact Tim Donoghue
General reporter
Email: tim.donoghue@dompost.co.nz

- The Dominion Post

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