5 days to go: Another peek at the weather for the Round the Bays 2012

Getting closer to the big day now. 5 days out (H+120) and all the weather models I’ve seen are pointing towards the same thing for Sunday morning: Strong cold southerlies and showers.

The high that was a feature of the “first peek” H+240 model run is still there, over the Tasman Sea, but there was uncertainty about the timing of any trough moving north over the country. It now appears that a trough moves north over central New Zealand overnight Saturday/Sunday, followed by southerlies and showers (this was the scenario that the ACCESS G model was going for at H+240). I was hoping for cool conditions, but it looks like it might even feel bitter for the time of year. My guess for the temperature at around start time (8am) is 13 degrees. A fresh southerly (around 20 knots, say) would make this feel more like 8 degrees – Rather chilly for a summer morning!

The current MetService forecast for Sunday is “Occasional rain with southerlies” (look in the “rural” section on metservice.com for the detailed Wellington forecast. I’ve no idea why it’s hidden away in the rural section, but there’s more info than the shortened forecast on the front page).

But we’re still 5 days away – There’s still plenty of time for the forecast picture to change. Let’s hope the high actually pushes on a little faster! In the meantime – Does anyone have any tips for running on rainy days? Any recommended types of clothing? Still really looking forward to it though, whatever the weather. I’ve done a couple of 15km runs in training and have been saving the challenge of the full 21km for the big day. For the next few days I’m resting (and doing night shifts, bah), but I plan to squeeze in a short run or some swimming to keep myself feeling fit and loose. I’ve also discovered the joys of sports underwear – No more chafing!

ECMWF H+120 MSL/850hPa winds, 26 Feb 2012 00Z

Fig.1 H+120 Deterministic ECMWF forecast for 1pm Sun 26th Feb, showing MSLP and 850hPa wind speed. Fresh southerlies for Wellington. Image courtesy ECMWF.

Fig.2 H+120 US GFS forecast for 1pm Sun 26th Feb showing MSLP, wind barbs and precipitation. Fresh or strong southerlies and showers for Wellington. Image courtesy MetVUW.

Fig.4 ECMWF H+120 ensemble mean and normalised standard deviation for 1pm Sun 26th Feb. The ensemble is still very keen on the high over the Tasman, and a southwest flow over the country. There is some wiggle room about pressures over the North Island, probably to do with how far on the trough has gone by 1pm. I’d say the message is still: Fresh southerlies for Wellington. Image courtesy of ECMWF.