There’s a cyclone sitting off the coast and we’re already feeling its tendrils. From Six60 to Splore, Western Springs to Tapapakanga Regional Park, which shows will suffer worst this weekend?
Update 11am Friday:
NIWA weatherman Ben Noll has scant good news as we barrel towards the weekend, saying while for now there are only smatterings of rain, the worst is yet to come.
“There’s a lot of rain scattered at top of North Island now, from say New Plymouth up to the tip of the north, but nothing particularly heavy yet,” he says. “However there is a blob of heavy rain offshore of Auckland and Northland which is set to move into the region this evening bringing heavy rainfall to the area and onwards into tonight.”
“But as we go into late tonight and tomorrow morning, a lot of Saturday will be dry and breezy, which is good news for concert goers.”
Noll says despite the cloud cover, high UV levels mean there is still a risk of sunburn, and people should plan accordingly. He had no information on the SPF rating of glitter, feathers or ornate paper maché.
In Wellington, which hosts Te Matatini, Saturday looks ‘alright’.
“It’s not fantastic but it’s better than Sunday will be – I’ll tell you that much,” Noll says.
“It will be dry tomorrow morning, with showers in the evening, but that’s in advance of southerly change which is going to blast through the capital around daybreak Sunday – leading to an awful day. It’s pretty atrocious down there. If you’re looking to be out and about on Sunday, it’s going to be cold. It’ll feel more like May than February.”
If tragedy brings us together, the appearance of Cyclone Oma off New Zealand’s west coast this week was a unifier like no other. From fans of Six60 to Splore freaks and Hidden Festival doof heads, party goers have been watching the weather charts like amateur meteorologists, trying to divine the atmospheric tea leaves and get an idea of how fucked this weekend might really be.
As of lunchtime Thursday there’s good news and bad, says NIWA’s Ben Noll who’s absolutely having it both ways.
“Oma is swirling in the Coral Sea, and that’s where it’s going to stay, which is great. But some of the moisture from the storm is likely to reach New Zealand tomorrow. Auckland and Northland are going to experience heavy rainfall. If you’re travelling into the upper North Island, that could be an issue on the roads with heavy rain possible.”
For Splore, which takes place on the waterfront at Tapapakanga Regional Park, rain, high winds and a king tide from 10am mean there’s a good chance your dreadlocks will get utterly satched. Bad news too for those of us called Don Rowe who’d planned their weekend around wearing a white morph suit.
Splore’s social media accounts advise the show will go on, with some wishing for a return of the mud people: a feasible scenario as drought-dirt turns into mud-gruel overnight. And fortunately, as Spinoff partnerships editor Simon Day said earlier this week: “Rain is just a magnifying glass for the buzzout factor.”
Better luck still for the 40,000 people packing into Western Springs stadium to see New Zealand’s biggest boys Six60, and those at Hidden in Ellerslie.
“The good news is that Saturday looks like a decent day overall,” says Noll. “You could have worse conditions considering what’s out there. There’ll be a window that’s mostly dry, with maybe a passing shower or two. It’ll be a bit breezy which will be noticeable but overall it looks cloudy and dry. Maybe sun-breaks in the late afternoon.”
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There’s nothing like watching the lads croon in a bit of avo’ sun. Following the show, shit starts to go downhill. Shortly after Splore festival peaks, torrential downpours are set to wash away the glitter and goodwill.
“There looks to be a potential for heavy rain in early morning. Then, after that, showery for the rest of the day,” says Noll. “There’s a chance it could be before daybreak, and most of the day will be very breezy. Don’t bring the umbrella, they’ll fold inside-out and snap, just bring a jacket.”
“It could be a lot worse given what’s swirling around out there. I wouldn’t expect drownings: tomorrow’s afternoon rain could be heavy, but during the weekend itself the heavier stuff comes through before sun-up Sunday. If you’re in tents that’s something to be aware of.”
And that’s not to mention matters in the absolutely end-of-times South Island, which will receive a totally normal dusting of snow in February – or as we used to call it, summer.
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