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4 days of stormy weather are on the way as the second wintry blast in a week rolls through.  The low pressure system, roughly the size of Australia, is swirling south of New Zealand in the Southern Ocean and while the low itself isn’t going to make landfall the fronts it fires out will.  Head weather analyst Philip Duncan says thunderstorms, heavy downpours and gales will be the entree.  “Starting today we can expect some heavy showers with thunderstorms moving up the west coast of New Zealand.  This could easily mean more lightning strikes across populated areas such as Greymouth, Wanganui, New Plymouth, Taumarunui and possibly Hamilton and Auckland later in the day”.

The thunderstorms are being created by a surge of cold air heading northwards and mixing with the relatively warm, humid, air currently over the country.  “It was this week last year that tornadoes and thunderstorms moved into Taranaki, Auckland and Bay of Plenty causing millions of dollars in damage.  While this isn’t the same set up there is still the risk of isolated small tornadoes especially during the afternoon or evening.  This is the time of year we see a lot of thunderstorm activity and it should die away as the month continues and the warmer air retreats further north”.

Arond 500 strikes have been recorded so far this morning – that number is expected to rise considerably later today.

A strong west to south west flow is expected to develop after the front passes bringing strong to gale force winds across central New Zealand. 

On Friday an even colder burst of air is expected to move up the country.  “Snow is likely to low levels over Southland, Otago and maybe even near sea level in Canterbury.  There is a good chance snow or sleet will fall in Dunedin and Christchurch later on Friday or during the weekend”.

Duncan says the snow will head northwards on Friday reaching the Desert Road and Central Plateau for the weekend.  “There is some good news here, more snow for the ski fields and sunny weather is expected for skiers next week at this stage”.


Leigh on 2/07/2008 8:47pm

Bring it on Phil!! The worserer the weather the better. 🙂

Bruce on 2/07/2008 11:44am

I know someone who went to the AB vs Ireland game in Wellington and they said, like most others, that it was as cold as they’d felt at a match. Hopefully it’s not that bad this week. Or maybe if it’s cold it’ll help our chances against the World champs!!

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