Rain to arrive with the royals

The royal visitors may be bringing a precious gift with them during their progress through the country next week - rain.

After months when warm and calm weather dominated much of the country, a nasty bout of rain and cold southerlies is forecast for the first few days after the arrival of William, Kate and George. Then for the next few days showers are forecast.

While that outlook may leave royal watchers cold, if the rain does fall it will be greatly welcomed down on the farm.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, with baby Prince George, arrive in Wellington on Monday, and will be in the country for 10 days until April 16.

MetService has so far provided forecasts until April 11, halfway through the royal tour.

For Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, when the royal party will be in Wellington, the forecast for the city is for three days of rain and southerlies with a maximum temperature of only 16 degrees Celsius.

On Thursday next week the royals will be in Blenheim, where the forecast is for showers. On Friday next week their itinerary takes them to Auckland, where the forecast is again for showers.

That's as far as MetService goes, though it gives the proviso that it tends to becomes less certain of its predictions the further ahead they are.

MetService meteorologists are involved in producing the forecasts for the first five days of the forecast period, but for the following five days the outlook is generated by a computer weather-modelling system.