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Conditions have eased considerably over the North Island and now the attention shifts to the South Island as a wintry blast is set to pounce.  The latest wind predictions by show severe gales south of New Zealand blowing bitterly cold air from near the Antarctic shelf.   “It’s going to be a very cold few days ahead in places like Invercargill and Dunedin” says head weather analyst Philip Duncan.  “We’re talking about day time temperatures hovering in the single digits and with wind chill it will feel more like zero”.
The cold snap is expected to arrive after dark reaching Wellington by noon tomorrow.  “Basically everyone along the east coast from Southland to Hawkes Bay will feel the chill”.
Duncan says a “quick dusting” of snow is likely on the mountains but due to the speed of the front and the fact it will weaken quickly it’s not expected to penetrate inland too far.  “The low that’s driving this front is well south of New Zealand so there aren’t likely to be many complications with this system”. 
“The wind predictions show severe gales are likely along the South Island’s southeast coastline”.
For the North Island the chill could be a bit of a shock following a very warm week.  “The sub tropical low has meant temperatures have been in the late teens overnight but by the weekend they will halve”.
Staying in the North Island and MetService is warning afternoon heating may produce some thunderstorms across central regions of the North Island.  They say the risk will remain “high” until tonight.  According to the Weather Watch Centre just 2 strikes have been recorded, well off shore, in the past hour.  This compares with over 733 strikes between 10:45pm and 11:45pm last night, mostly off the Bay of Plenty coast.



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