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Cold front heads towards North Island

For those thinking this mornings heavy showers were the big cold change, you may want to read this. 

The wintry cold snap bringing isolated hail and  thunder to western New Zealand and snow to central areas is yet to even reach the North Island says – but it is close.

Head weather analyst Philip Duncan says the cold front has been moving up the South Island’s West Coast today and this hour it is moving across the Tasman Sea side of Cook Strait and towards Taranaki.

“We estimate it will reach Taranaki sometime mid afternoon, probably between 3 and 4pm. It will then move into Auckland most likely between 5 and 6pm then setting in for the night”.

“Until then people can enjoy some sunshine in between the odd shower”.

Showers are expected to become heavier and more frequent with isolated thunderstorms and hail showers right along the western coastline and may affect New Plymouth, Hamilton and Auckland.  The risk shifts into Auckland this evening, but any hail or thunder is expected to be isolated – in other words, not all suburbs will be affected.

“This isn’t a major polar blast but it is our first nationwide cold snap in quite some time.  Most North Islanders will notice the temperature change tonight and tomorrow”.

The energy from today’s system is mostly focused on western New Zealand but tonight it will cross over the North Island and from Wednesday will be mostly focused on eastern areas as a new low deepens.

Philip Duncan says snow is “very likely” on the Desert Road tonight as the cold change moves in.  “The road may well be closed tonight or on Wednesday morning and we advise motorists to check the latest roading conditions”.

As of 1:20pm thunder activity around New Zealand had eased significantly from earlier today, but it’s still expected to fire back up again this afternoon – in isolated pockets – along the western coastline from Taranaki to Northland.

View the live and free Lightning Tracker here

While temperatures are fairly mild today, tomorrow’s south east change will have a significant impact on how warm people feel with daytime highs down several degrees on this time last week and the “feels like” temperature shaving another 3 or 4 degrees off the highs due to wind chill.



Nicola on 28/06/2011 10:36am

Hi is there any chance you’re going to introduce the current temperature (and possibly a “feels like”) as they have on metservice? I know they have it but you guys seem to be more accurate in most things than they are – and it’s the only reason I venture into their site, would be great not to have to!!


Guest on 28/06/2011 9:22pm

Following on from that, it would be even cooler if they had several temperatures from around Auckland. Temperatures can vary quite a bit accross Auckland on some days as can the weather sometimes.

WW Forecast Team on 28/06/2011 11:12pm

Hi guys

We’re working on both those things but our main priority right now is to create a Warnings page.  We think public safety is very important and want to ensure we have all the latest warnings on our website – and nothing that is out of date. 

The second main job for us is to then get national forecasts up and running.

Once we have those two done, we’ll put a bigger focus on the Auckland forecasts – and try to add more details (including live current conditions).  A work in progress… and with changes in ownership last year we’re running about a year behind where we wanted to be – but all looking very positive now.

We’ll keep you posted


– WW

kerry on 28/06/2011 6:09am

From Penguin beach, when are you going to have local weather for Wgtn/Kapiti area, like your briefs for Auckland.

WW Forecast Team on 28/06/2011 6:13am

Hi Kerry – thanks for the question.

We’ve currently made offers to two organisations and are awaiting word on what they can supply us.  We could’ve switched on forecasts earlier this year but because we’re small we’d need to have a significant amount of computerised forecasting (which is common).  But we aren’t happy with the accuracy of those computerised forecasts (a bit like MetService’s 6 to 10 days forecasts which chop and change a lot, unlike the forecasts they prepare themselves 1 – 5 days). 

It’s currently our second priority – our top priority is a new national warnings page.

So it’s a serious work in progress!


kerry on 28/06/2011 6:15am

Thank you for your prompt reply and honesty, something missing in some forecasts, cheers for now

BQ on 28/06/2011 5:26am

downtown Auckland just had THE most intense hail/rain storm I have ever experienced. Big flashes of lightning and down she came! Nelson street outside TVNZ has turned in to a river in the space of about 3 minutes. Completely Insane!!

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