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Our 10 most striking maps showing the huge low impacting New Zealand

There are some incredible images of the big low over New Zealand today, so we thought we’d try to share our favourite ones which highlight the size and forces behind what is happening.

4pm Sunday / Himawari satellite as darkness approaches from the east. Rain will continue all night and across a big part of Monday too, but should ease back slowly. Also, note the big southerly in the Tasman Sea, it almost looks like a mushroom cloud of southerlies pushing out into eastern Aussie.
4pm Sunday / Himawari satellite (infrared)
4pm Sunday / Himawari satellite (Visible satellite – note the darkness in the bottom right hand corner as the sun sets)
An even closer view of the clouds to the west of NZ. The big south east airflow makes for stunning clouds as the air moves over the South Island ranges. It’s a reverse of the Canterbury nor’wester which brings rain to the West Coast and often stunning cloud displays in the dry east. Today it’s very much a ‘reverse nor’wester’ as the wet east to sou’east flow continues to remain set in.
24 hour Accumulated Rainfall for Sunday very clearly shows the spiralling low over NZ and the blocking nature of the Southern Alps which is pushing up the rainfall totals in Canterbury (into the ‘exceptional’ category). Meanwhile, most of Aussie remains bone dry – other than the showers from the NZ low brushing eastern Australia.
MetService’s rain accumulation map based on rain radar data – This looks more like the West Coast rather than the east coast. Quite incredible.
This is a huge low. On the air pressure map you can see it stretches 3400km wide (west to east). Australia is 4000km wide! NZ is 1600km long (north to south).
In saying that, the low over NZ isn’t really stormy, it’s just big with a lot of rain in one place (made heavier by the Southern Alps). The low in the South Pacific towards South America is a real storm – it’s many times larger, deeper and windier.
  • And you’ll find detailed weather graphs and data at (NZ’s largest weather data website).


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