VIDEO: Large deep low to bring rain and wind this weekend, colder southerlies next week

An enormous area of low pressure is forming near New Zealand over the next several days and it will produce heavy rain and strong westerly winds this weekend in some regions (mostly the west) then next week it turns more southerly in the south.

Australia: Land of the big wide drought as NZ gets rain relief (+5 Maps)

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As rain returns to New Zealand following a very dry first half of the year spare a thought to our Aussie neighbours dealing with drought - and more dry coming their way.

What cold snap?! Temperatures already bounce back to above normal by day (+4 maps)

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The same places that had snow to sea level yesterday are today bouncing back to normal or warmer than average and will be even milder in the days ahead. says the westerlies will turn more north west this week and some in the north will even have sub-tropical winds pushing temperatures up above normal for early August.

Giant Southern Ocean storm to affect NZ, another wintry blast coming (+5 Maps)

An enormous low pressure system will deepen over the Southern Tasman Sea and New Zealand area this weekend, leading to an Antractic blast in the South Island next week.

VIDEO: Giant low to bring warm wind and rain then another polar blast

We’re in a warming up phase for the next few days but a very large low will form this weekend into a storm and by early next week it will lie over the Southern Ocean and likely sends another polar blast our way.

It’s not 100% locked in but the modelling has been fairly consistent for the past few days. We should be able to lock things in by Thursday.

Wintry Monday with hail, squalls, gales and cold (+4 Latest Maps)

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It was a rough night in Auckland and other western areas with gales, hail and loud squalls hitting from the west, while in Southland and Otago snow has been steadily falling to lower and lower levels, including some light snow in Dunedin.

Snow falls in Hokitika, also near Greymouth, Invercargill (+Photos & Video)

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UPDATED 1:30pm --- said sea level snow was likely in Fiordland and South Westland today, but right now parts of Hokitika and Greymouth have isolated snow flurries too.

The polar blast is moving up the South Island and will track over the North Island later today, dropping temperatures nationwide as we head into Monday.

Cold air moving up NZ, winds increasing again - the latest Maps (x6)

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Colder air is moving up the country with snow lowering in the South Island and hail showers and squalls moving up the western side of both main islands.

Westerlies are turning south west today across New Zealand and the big blast of polar air will make for a colder than average Sunday in the South Island and and colder than normal day across much of the country on Monday.

Sunday's national forecast - here comes the colder air

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Friday was a windy day, now we have the coldest day or two coming in and it also comes with another surge of windy south to south west winds which don't ease nationwide until Monday evening.

2019 Solar Winter ends this weekend, but then it may get colder

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Saturday marked the end of the Solar Winter in the southern hemisphere - the 3 months with the least amount of available sunlight. The Solar Winter starts 6 weeks before the shortest day and ends 6 weeks after. This year the shortest day was on June 22, meaning the end of the Solar Winter was around August 3rd.