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Incoming storm to affect all of the NI and upper SI (+ Maps)

New Zealand – but mostly the North Island and upper South Island – is in the firing line for a “Weather Bomb” moving in tonight and clearing most places by Sunday and Monday. 

Both and MetService forecasters are predicting a wild weekend for the North Island and upper South Island as this rapidly deepening low moves in later today and Saturday.

Over the next 48 hours will continue to predict the path and track the storm – and your comments about weather conditions where you are will be especially helpful.

We also want to hear if you see damage – trees down, powercuts, flooding etc.

Despite the aggressive system moving in we’d rate it as a “moderate” sized storm.  We’ve had worse, but we’ve also had much smaller.

Another positive is that it should move in and move out quite quickly. 

Some areas may only have a period of rain and showers no worse than a small front – but it’s the fact that this storm has potential to do much worse that is concerning forecasters.

It does have the potential to be a dangerous system – and all New Zealanders, especially those in the North Island and upper South Island – are advised to keep up to date with the latest weather news at and the latest weather warnings issued by MetService.


  • FRIDAY – Clouds build, winds shift to nor’westers and build slowly during the day.
  • FRIDAY NIGHT – Rain and strong (possibly gale) winds move in tonight/overnight to northern and western NZ
  • SATURDAY:  The entire North Island and upper South Island will deal with strong winds and heavy rain for a time.  Some a few hours – others the entire day.  Some centres may miss out on severe weather but most regions are expected to have gales and heavy rain at some point.  
  • SUNDAY: The low tracks east of Hawkes Bay, easing conditions significantly and clearing skies for western and northern New Zealand but continuing the wet, windy flow for southern and eastern parts of the North Island.
  • MONDAY:  Low moves away, high moves in.

We’ll update again once we have more useful new information.

The Maps

GFS plotting…Left: 1am Friday, Middle: 1am Saturday, Right: 1am Sunday

Saturday Rain map

Saturday Swell map

Saturday Wind map (purple, red and grey indicates gales – grey = severe gales)

Click here to see our Interactive Maps page


Alan Charman on 2/03/2012 5:30am

Watching the satellite pictures and looking at the current lack of wind, I suspect this may be a bit overdone. Time will tell, however, but the North Island-wide Civil Defence warnings are unprecedented in my memory, so there will be some sleepless nights either way.

My pick is little rain, strong, but not hurricane winds, minimal damage. Yes, the low has started spinning, but it doesn’t appear to be tightening enough to cause the weather predicted.

Check the 9 pm updates!

Derek on 2/03/2012 1:22am

Hi Phil & WW,

What is Northland, Whangarei especially, likely to get from this coming storm.
In this forecast you are saying the whole NI, but in the 6 day forecast for Whangarei it all looks quite calm with just showers & cloud, even fining up for Saturday.

I am a little confused as to which is correct.

WW Forecast Team on 2/03/2012 1:43am

Unfortunately our 6 day forecasts don’t specify wind (we will turn that feature on this year though) – the rain will be heavy between midnight and 9am Saturday then it may well clear up – but those winds will be howling.  Sat evening doesn’t look too bad for you.


– WW

westcoast on 1/03/2012 8:48pm

Met Service have issued the first warnings on this now. Severe gales with gusts to 150kmh expected across the central and southern North Island !

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