Long weekend rain for Auckland but Christchurch, Hawke’s Bay to hit mid-20Cs

Aucklanders hoping for an outdoor picnic or get-together to spice up their locked-down Labour Day long weekend can expect inclement weather to likely rain on their parade.

However, it will remain dry for much of the rest of the country as temperatures climb above average into next week, with Hawke’s Bay hitting highs up to 25C.

Temperatures in Otago and Southland in the South Island will be especially high and as much as 5C above normal for this time of year, forecaster MetService said.

However, back up north, MetService is forecasting a humid, grey, wet and blustery weekend for Auckland and Northland down to Hamilton.

Saturday in Auckland is expected to hit a high of 17C as light rain turns widespread by the afternoon. Rain should ease to become isolated by Sunday afternoon and a top of 18C, before Monday reaches a top of 20C.

Whangārei is expecting possible heavy showers today and a top of 17C before a cloudy and rainy Sunday and Monday as the maximum temperature heads to 22C.

Hamilton can expect rain that will ease to the odd shower over the weekend as today’s max of 16C heads to a high of 20C on Monday.

Tauranga is set for a cloudy weekend with the occasional shower and highs of 16C today rising to 19C on Monday.

Rotorua is also set for a cloudy weekend with sporadic rain as its highs range from 14C to 16C.

Napier, meanwhile, is set for a dry but cloudy weekend. Its top temperature of 17C today is expected to rise to 23C on Monday and then 25C on Tuesday.

Wellington can expect a fine Saturday with a high of 17C before spots of rain develop on Monday along with a high of 18C.

Christchurch in the South Island can expect a choice week of sunshine ahead as today’s morning cloud and high of 15C today, climbs 20C on Sunday and then 24C on Monday.

Queenstown can also expect balmy highs of 20C and 19C over the next three days.

“Saturday’s forecast looks like it will be the best day in most places this Labour Weekend for those looking to spend some time outdoors,” said MetService meteorologist Dan Corrigan.

“We’re expecting regions east of the Southern Alps to mostly be sheltered from Sunday’s rain, so these placeswill have the pick of the weekend’s weather.”

Corrigan also said Labour Weekend is the traditional tomato-planting time for a summer harvest.

“So those looking to do some gardening should keep eye on the forecast.”

Those in Auckland expected to be put off by the damp weather are asked to continue to follow the alert level 3 rules.

“If the wet weather dampens your catch-up plans, do not move the gathering inside. Covid-19 is still in the community and the lack of ventilation inside makes it easy for the virus to spread,” Auckland Council said.

The council is also urging Aucklanders to stay local, not go to their holiday homes or plan any overnight trips.

Police say they will continue to be highly visible in the community and on the road through the weekend to ensure everyone “is safe and feels safe”, police said.

“We encourage everyone to enjoy the break, but to remember there are still restrictions in place, particularly around personal movement.”

Police said it had a low tolerance for any deliberate breaches of gathering restrictions under alert level 3.

“Police will take enforcement action in instances where these rules have been breached, which are in place to help stop the spread of Covid-19 in our community,” it said.

Under alert level 2, gatherings are limited to a maximum of 100 people.

“We will take an education-first approach to advise people on the current restrictions but will take enforcement action if necessary.”

People are also encouraged to wear face masks, keep a distance from people and scan or keep a physical record of wherever they went.

Those planning on heading out on the water are reminded to keep safe.

Always wear a life jacket, whether boating or rock fishing, have two forms of waterproof communication and leave detailed information on where you’re headed and expected back.

Surf Life Saving NZ will be kicking off its patrol season this weekend and is urging the public to work with them to maintain safe beaches.

This year, the season is faced with the added difficulty of lifeguards operating under Covid-19 restrictions.

Paul Dalton, Surf Life Saving CEO, said: “There has been a tremendous amount of work going on to provide advice to clubs on how they are going to operate safely at the different alert levels.

“Clubs and members will be at the beach, but it might be a bit different to previous years in terms of the lifesaving service provided in some areas.”

Chris Emmett, Surf Life Saving national club and volunteer development manager, said some clubs will have reduced staffing or may have decided not to patrol due to Covid complications and availability of club members.

Patrols will be provided at all locations from Labour Weekend, with the exception of South Piha beach where the public are asked not to swim.

Beachgoers are advised to check the Safeswim website (www.safeswim.org.nz) before heading to any beach.

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