Temperatures dropping but a mild winter expected

The harsh weather of Queens Birthday weekend is expected to ease this week and despite temperatures dropping, a NIWA forecaster says New Zealand is in for a mild winter.

Most of the North Island should expect some cloud with the occasional shower on Tuesday morning and then more sunny spells in the afternoon, Weatherwatch says.

NIWA forecaster Chris Brandalino says Northlanders should expect a dry winter as the region grapples with drought, with some rain this week but not much more.

"We'll have to wait for a pattern change late in the winter or early in the spring when we can see a better chance for more persistent rainfall to really erase the rainfall deficit that has put us in this situation." 

The upper South Island is expected to be mostly sunny with some cloud in Canterbury, Fiordland and Otago. Marlborough and Fiordland will likely experience showers.

Highs will range from 14 to 19 degrees across the North Island and between 14 and 16 in the South Island.

Late Thursday and Friday temperatures are expected to drop as a cold blast comes up the South Island and Metservice says this is just a precursor for a bigger surge of cold air on the weekend.

Next week is expected to be colder and drier as New Zealand heads into winter but NIWA forecaster Chris Brandalino says overall this years' winter will be reasonably mild.

"A colder than average winter is pretty darn unlikely," he says. 

"If you are listening from the east of the South Island, a warmer winter is the most likely outcome."  

He says there will be a few cold snaps but it won't define the season.

Many ski fields will be holding out for a good dumping to entice domestic tourists during winter.

Brandalino says there will be some snowfall before the school holidays but overall it will be below average in 2020.

"A lot of times the timing of any cold snaps any snowfall that could really make a big difference but it does have a below-normal lean."

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