As the grip of the polar jet stream loosens and temperatures return to normal, New Zealand is bracing for a spell of wet weather this week, along with the potential for another glimpse of the aurora.

MetService meteorologist Dan Corrigan noted the recent cold snap, unusual for this time of year, is set to give way to a northerly wind flow. A developing low-pressure system over the Tasman Sea is expected to sweep across New Zealand on Wednesday, ushering in widespread rain across the North Island and upper South Island.

While a heavy rain watch has been issued for Tasman and parts of the Bay of Plenty, Corrigan assured that the period of rain will be relatively short-lived, transitioning to intermittent showers by Wednesday night. Temperatures, he added, are forecasted to return to typical May norms, unlike the recent chillier weather.

In Auckland, isolated showers are predicted to escalate into rain on Wednesday before clearing up by Friday. Wellington should brace for light showers evolving into a wet Wednesday and Thursday, followed by clearing skies on Friday. Christchurch anticipates a cloudy Tuesday, with rain expected to set in on Wednesday morning, though clearer conditions are forecast for Thursday and Friday, before heavy rain is predicted for Saturday.

Meanwhile, there’s a chance for another aurora display this week, contingent upon weather conditions and geographical location. University of Otago physicist Professor Craig Rodger highlighted the potential for another coronal mass ejection, though forecasting its arrival accurately remains challenging. While the lower South Island stands a reasonable chance of witnessing the aurora, those in the upper North Island may have to wait a decade for a display as remarkable as Saturday’s.

MetService meteorologist Mmathapelo Makgabutlane suggested that people in the west and upper South Island might have the best opportunity to observe the aurora on Monday night, with cloudy weather likely to obstruct views in Canterbury, Southland, and Dunedin.