Strong winds blowing Australia bushfire smoke across the Tasman

29 January 2020

Published by https://www.stuff.co.nz

NEW ZEALAND/AUSTRLIA – It could be a smokey weekend for parts of New Zealand as a wave of smoke from the Australian bushfires makes its way across the Tasman.

MetService meteorologist Lewis Ferris observed satellite imagery showing northwest winds blowing the smoke haze over, but it was too early to say which areas would be most affected.

The smoke blowing towards New Zealand wasn’t expected to be as extreme as the smoke cover that turned Auckland an eerie shade of orange and yellow earlier in the month, but that could change as the days progress and forecasts change.

“As we head into the weekend we’re getting a stronger north-west wind which is going to bring that smoke across quicker.”

Parts of the country were already starting to see a smoke haze. Ferris said there was one over Hawke’s Bay on Wednesday morning.

Thunderstorms up north, severe gales down south, while extreme temparatures are in store.

The weather forecast, which included northwest gales for part of the South Island, was creating the perfect environment for smoke to travel. However, depending on the cloud cover, the smoke might not even be noticeable.

“It is quite difficult to say with certainty [where will be affected] because if it’s caught up in the cloud then the effects of it are possibly a little bit less but … if the concentration of the smoke is quite large then it is going to have an effect.”

Ferris didn’t think it would be as extreme as the smoke cover that turned Auckland an eerie shade of orange and yellow earlier in the month, but that could change as the days progress and forecasts change.

He said it would most likely be “far less than what we’ve seen with that spectacular event”.

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