Long stretch of fine days predicted

20:15, Jan 21 2013

MetService is forecasting a run of mostly fine weather for much of the country over the next 10 days, bringing little relief for farmers in many parts of the North Island where too little rain has fallen this summer.

Auckland has no rain on the horizon until January 31.

Hamilton is shown with no rain at all, and only two days with some cloud for the rest of the month, while Wellington has some showers on Thursday but the other nine days remaining in the month are dry.

Rain is expected in Christchurch on Thursday, with drizzle Friday morning, but otherwise the city is expected to be fine through to January 31. For Dunedin there are just some showers on Thursday.

In Hawke's Bay, where irrigation bans have been placed on some rivers, MetService is holding out the hope of some rain - from Thursday to Saturday, and from January 29 to January 31.

But MetService forecaster Philippa Murdoch cautioned the rain being forecast for Hawke's Bay this week was not "looking like big numbers".

"They could get a few showers, but it's not looking like large amounts of rain in the next few days," she said.

Once the forecasts started looking more than a week out, there was a "fairly high degree of uncertainty".

The weather outlook for the next four days was written by forecasters, and had a much higher degree of certainty, Murdoch said.

"From the five days onwards, it's basically just computer-generated forecasts, just what the models are producing. That far out the forecast can't add much value."

Northland - another area where the soil is particularly dry - is also being offered some hope of moisture. Unlike most of the rest of the country, MetService is predicting showers for Whangarei each day from Thursday until the end of the month.

Murdoch said a high pressure system was now covering the country. It was moving slowly, meaning much of the country should have fairly settled weather for the next few days.

A front was expected to approach the south of the country tomorrow afternoon, but was expected to fizzle out as it moved northwards into the high, she said.

"It looks like this ridge we're under will last until the weekend."