As of 2:45pm MetService had dropped all their severe weather warnings after several days of issuing dozens of them.
However in their latest severe weather outlook it appears more will be issued soon as stormy weather continues to move across the country.
“A strong disturbed westerly flow is forecast to cover New Zealand through to the weekend. A further series of fast moving fronts embedded in this flow are expected to move northeastwards across the country during this time” says the crown forecaster.
“These fronts are expected to bring brief periods of heavy rain to the South Island West Coast and central North Island, with a low risk of amounts reaching warning criteria about the hills and ranges, as indicated on the chart. Similarly, periods of heavy snow can be expected about southern parts of the South Island, the Southern Alps, including the main passes and the central North Island high country through to Thursday, with a low to moderate risk of amounts reaching warning levels”
“There is also a continuing low risk of severe west to northwest gales over the central and southern North Island and eastern parts of the South Island from the Canterbury foothills up to the Marlborough Sounds during Thursday and Friday. This risk is considered moderate about parts of Hawkes Bay and Wairarapa between Napier and Martinborough overnight Wednesday and early Thursday and a Severe Weather Watch is in force for these areas” says MetService.
Severe Weather Watch – MetService
The very cold southwest flow is forecast to continue over the lower South Island from today through to Thursday morning. A fresh outbreak of cold southwesterlies is expected to bring gales to the south coast and the snow level back down to near sea level from this evening. The gales could become severe about the coast for a time overnight tonight (Tuesday) and again Wednesday night. Significant snowfalls are possible in parts of Southland and the Clutha district during this period. These are especially likely in the Catlins and in areas exposed to strong southwesterlies. However, it is likely that the larger falls will occur inland over the higher terrain.
A watch will be maintained for the time being.
The combination of snow and strong winds may cause yet further disruption to transport and is likely to add further stress to stock, especially new born lambs. Later today, a disturbance will move onto the upper South Island and then move quickly over the North Island tonight. A burst of heavy rain along with heavy snow above 500 metres can be expected over Buller and Nelson (including the Nelson Lakes) this evening, and over the lower North Island from Taranaki to the central high country, southern Hawkes Bay, southern Wairarapa, and south to the Tararua Range.
Snow falls generally above 500 metres could be significant in these areas and are likely to affect higher roads such as the Lewis Pass road, the Desert Road and the Napier Taupo Road. Rainfall amounts over these areas are unlikely to reach warning criteria. However, given the saturated conditions, rivers and streams are likely to pick up for a time and there is a further risk of slips and localised surface flooding.
Finally, westerly winds are expected to strenthen to gale force over the upper South Island and lower North Island later Wednesday as a front moves north over the South Island. There is a risk of severe westerly gales from Wednesday evening through to Thursday morning over southern Hawkes Bay and northern Wairarapa. Forecasters will maintain a watch for all these areas, in case warnings become necessary.
Forecast prepared by: Paul Mallinson, MetService
Image courtesy NZ Govt