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Warm autumn weather on the way

Published: 11:40AM Monday March 12, 2012 Source: Fairfax

A period of warm and settled early autumn weather looks set to cheer much of the country, after a mediocre summer that led to an outbreak of widespread grumbling.

MetService was holding out the prospect of a ridge of high pressure easing onto the country tomorrow - replacing today's active trough and cold front.

Meteorologist Daniel Corbett said this week's high was a decent size, but the most important thing was that anticyclones were starting to track further north.

That came after a summer in which a La Nina episode in the tropics had tended to push the normal fine days from anticyclones further south.

Waikato residents look to be among the most favoured beneficiaries of the early autumn glow.

For Hamilton, sunshine was predicted from tomorrow through to the middle of next week, with mostly light winds and maximum temperatures between 20 and 23C.

Auckland would be nearly as good - although a bit breezier - with some clouds hanging around tomorrow, however showers were due back by Wednesday next week.

For Tauranga showers would return by Sunday, while Hawke's Bay would be mostly sunny except for a spell of showers on Saturday. Fine weather would return after that.

Wellington would be sunny all the way through from Wednesday, with the capital's calmest day expected to be Friday.

Christchurch would not quite escape the showers tomorrow, but from then on it would be fine through until Tuesday next week. Dunedin was expected to have showers on Thursday and Friday.

Once the coming decent spell has passed, some rough weather was expected.

MetService warned that strengthening westerlies could make some approaching fronts quite active, preceded by heavy rain and strong winds, and followed by cooler southerly winds.

"We will have these very, very nice spells in between these weather systems," Corbett said.

"You always can enjoy some nice weather in autumn."

The better weather followed a February which was much cloudier than normal for much of the country. January was unusually cool, and both the North Island and the top of the South Island got drenched in December.

Check the latest forecast for where you live here