A large storm in the Southern Ocean looks set to hit New Zealand next week bringing severe gales to central and eastern areas predicts WeatherWatch.co.nz.
The storm, which will in fact be centred well south of New Zealand, will churn through the Southern Ocean over next week and the squash zone (between that low in the Southern Ocean and a large high north of Northland) will lie directly over New Zealand – and then intensify.
This squash zone of gale westerlies will ramp up on Monday, peak on Tuesday, then gradually ease over the rest of the working week.
While it’s too early to be specific early reliable computer models indicate hurricane force winds (over 120km/h) are likely in the usual exposed areas.
The centre of the low won’t cross the country and will remain south of the South Island – the main feature will be the squash zone of wind – but the central pressure is expected to plummet into the 950hPa range.
For New Zealand the winds will hit areas well used to gale westerlies in spring – but WeatherWatch.co.nz anticipates wind warnings will be issued by the government forecaster next week with gusts potentially high enough to lift roofs, making driving hazardous and down trees.
– Image / Tuesday wind map / Weathermap