Matariki viewing prospects

Photo credit: Alan Ludlam.

People living in the lower North Island and eastern South Island are likely to get the best views of the Matariki star cluster during the upcoming weekend, say NIWA meteorologists.

The early morning mid-winter appearance of Matariki, also known as Pleiades, heralds the start of the Māori New Year.

Cloud cover allowing, Matariki comes into view shortly before sunrise as a small pulsating collection of stars just above the north-eastern horizon.

The NIWA weather team have prepared forecasts for early morning cloud cover later this week so whānau around the country can plan their best chances of seeing Matariki rise.

Forecaster Nava Fedaeff says conditions vary around New Zealand.

"The best viewing looks to be in the lower North Island and eastern South Island, especially on Friday and Saturday mornings.

"On Sunday morning, more widespread cloud cover will make Matariki viewing difficult across most of New Zealand."

Regional forecasts are available here and will be updated daily.

NIWA’s Bream Bay live weather camera will also be pointing in the direction of Matariki for the next nine days, hoping to capture its early morning rising.

2022 Matariki Weekend Forecast

Upper North Island (including Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Coromandel Peninsula)

- Friday: Scattered clear breaks possible prior to sunrise. Increasing cloud cover with a chance for isolated showers by late afternoon. Maximum temperature in the mid-teens.

- Saturday: Isolated clear breaks possible prior to sunrise. Becoming mostly cloudy with a chance for scattered showers in the afternoon. Maximum temperature in the mid-teens.

- Sunday: Mostly cloudy to overcast with showers and isolated thunderstorms possible. Maximum temperature in the mid-teens.

East Coast (including Gisborne, Napier, Wairarapa)

- Friday: Partly to mostly clear skies prior to sunrise. Chilly, with morning temperatures in the lower single numbers. Partly cloudy thereafter. Maximum temperature 11-13 degrees.

- Saturday: Clear breaks possible prior to sunrise. Chilly, with morning temperatures in the lower single numbers. Increasing cloud cover with an isolated shower possible late in the day. Maximum temperature in the mid-teens.

- Sunday: Mostly cloudy to overcast with isolated showers possible. Maximum temperature in the mid-teens.

Western North Island (including New Plymouth, Whanganui)

- Friday: Partly to mostly clear skies prior to sunrise. Partly cloudy thereafter. Maximum temperature 12-13 degrees.

- Saturday: Isolated clear breaks possible prior to sunrise. Increasing cloud cover with showers possible in the afternoon. Maximum temperature 13-14 degrees.

- Sunday: Mostly cloudy to overcast with rain and isolated thunderstorms developing. Maximum temperature in the mid-teens.

Lower North Island (including Wellington)

- Friday: Mostly clear skies prior to sunrise. Chilly, with morning temperatures near zero degrees. Mostly sunny thereafter. Maximum temperature in the lower double digits.

- Saturday: Isolated clear breaks possible prior to sunrise. Increasing cloud cover with isolated showers developing late in the day. Gusty in the afternoon. Maximum temperature 12-13 degrees.

- Sunday: Mostly cloudy to overcast with showers and isolated thunderstorms developing. Maximum temperature 12-13 degrees.

Upper South Island (including Nelson, Blenheim)

- Friday: Partly to mostly cloudy skies prior to sunrise. Chilly, with morning temperatures in the lower single numbers. Increasing cloud with isolated afternoon showers possible. Maximum temperature in the lower double digits.

- Saturday: Overcast with showers or rain. Gusty winds possible. Maximum temperature 12-13 degrees.

- Sunday: Overcast with showers or rain and an isolated thunderstorm possible. Maximum temperature in the mid-teens.

Eastern South Island (including Christchurch, Timaru)

- Friday: Mostly clear skies prior to sunrise. Cold, with morning temperatures below zero. Increasing cloud in the afternoon. Maximum temperature in the lower double digits.

- Saturday: Mostly cloudy with an isolated shower possible before sunrise. Thereafter mostly cloudy to overcast. Maximum temperature in the lower double digits.

- Sunday: Mostly cloudy to overcast with showers possible. Maximum temperature in the early teens.

Lower South Island (including Dunedin, Invercargill)

- Friday: Mostly clear skies prior to sunrise. Cold, with temperatures below zero. Increasing cloud in the afternoon. Maximum temperature near 10 degrees.

- Saturday: Mostly cloudy. Maximum temperature in the upper single numbers.

- Sunday: Chance for early morning showers or rain, with increasing sunshine in the afternoon. Maximum temperature near 10 degrees.

Lakes Region (including Queenstown, Wanaka)

- Friday: Partly clear skies prior to sunrise. Cold, with temperatures below zero. Increasing cloud in the afternoon. Maximum temperature in the upper single numbers.

- Saturday: Mostly cloudy with a chance for isolated showers. Maximum temperature near 10 degrees.

- Sunday: Chance for early morning showers or rain, with increasing sunshine in the afternoon. Maximum temperature in the upper single numbers.

West Coast (including Greymouth, Hokitika)

- Friday: Mostly cloudy to overcast skies prior to sunrise. Morning showers becoming afternoon rain. Maximum temperature in the lower double digits.

- Saturday: Cloudy with rain likely. Rain may be heavy at times. Gusty winds possible. Maximum temperature 11-12 degrees.

- Sunday: Morning rain possible, tapering to showers in the afternoon. Maximum temperature 12-13 degrees.

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