A large and deepening low is approaching New Zealand for Thursday and Friday and part of Saturday with rain being the main feature, but gales are in the mix too.
It’s a very different set up to last week that saw one area of focus producing severe weather over a long period of time (mainly around Cook Strait and the lower half of the North Island).
This next set up is a considerably bigger and stormier low but bigger also means the energy is spread much further afield and has many more moving parts. It’s complicated, messy – but the risk for areas of severe weather exists in both islands with rain being the main feature in our view, along with gales for some locations too.
THE GENERAL SET UP:
THURSDAY: Sub-tropical northerly wind and rain moves in on Thursday with heavy falls in the north and north east of the North Island and for the South Island’s West Coast. Gales are possible in various places. Rain may not arrive until overnight for some areas in the east.
FRIDAY: Heavy rain spreads into various parts of the South Island and eventually focuses on the east coast. Snow is no longer a major concern for us as this event looks too warm, but snow may still be heavy for the Alpine Passes. The centre of the low is calm, but gales wrap around it and may reach severe gale in the lower South Island later on.
SATURDAY: Colder with windy southerly quarter winds and rain in the east of both islands easing gradually with sunny weather spreading elsewhere. Gales and even severe gale still possible for a time in eastern areas of the South Island (coastal) and into Cook Strait.
Severe Weather Risks around NZ until Saturday:
This storm is different to the localised severe weather we saw in New Zealand last week. Geography and the way the air pressure systems lined up created that intense belt of wind through Cook Strait and heavy rain in Wairarapa and Manawatu. This system also has a squash zone, mainly in the lower South Island on Friday between the centre of the low and the incoming high to the south west. But gales are also possible right around the low due to the depth of this air pressure system – however gales reaching damaging heights is another category and that may not be so likely in our view for many places – but still possible for some.
HEAVY RAIN LOW DOWN / SNOW HIGH UP:
With this low pressure so large there is some good news on the wind front – the bulk of the gales will be out at sea, surrounding New Zealand but mainly avoiding land. There are some risks, which we’ll update and fine tune each day:
POTENTIAL TRAVEL ISSUES:
– WeatherWatch.co.nz has daily news and video updates about this low, check back for more.