The next burst of severe weather is pushing into New Zealand with more gales, snow, rain, thunder, hail, isolated tornadoes and yes, some will have lovely sunny weather thanks to the nearby mountains and ranges.
To keep it simple – a big low is pushing into the South Island with a polar southerly behind it. Heavy rain on the West Coast falls as heavy snow in the Southern Alps while heavy rain turns to heavy downpours along the western North Island with thunderstorms and hail in the mix.
As we head through Thursday PM rain and snow will intensify along the West Coast and Southern Alps while gale force westerly quarter winds develop in some exposed areas ahead of the front and strong blustery sou’westers behind it.
On Friday the bulk of the energy will be over the North Island with nor’west winds turning westerly then later cooler sou’west. Rain or showers will affect the western side with isolated thunderstorms and heavy hail storms. Many eastern areas will be windy with gales possible from the NW around Gisborne and marine parts of Auckland.
But beautiful sunny weather will greet a number of South Island areas and early morning will be significantly colder than usual. Christchurch and surrounding areas may be sunny at first, or at least dry and calm, but a south to south west wind will freshen in the afternoon with clouds and showers developing. The forecast looks better in Wellington on Friday too as the bulk of rough weather heads further north.
Thunderstorms along the entire western side of New Zealand may become severe, keep up to date with your tax funded severe thunderstorm outlooks and warnings provided by Government forecaster MetService. There is also the possibility of severe thunderstorms on Friday night associated with the formation of a new small disturbance around Auckland.
Damaging but ISOLATED wind gusts, hail, and even small tornadoes are possible with these types of thunderstorms and squalls, mostly in places near to the Tasman Sea, which includes Auckland. We won’t know more specifics until closer to the time, these severe weather events tend to be isolated but the risk is there with this set up.
Please note the red in the InfoGraphics below indicates the main risk area for thunderstorms – it doesn’t mean widespread thunderstorms solidly across the zone, instead it’s the most likely place to find them. The bulk will be offshore but as you can there is a risk along the western and northern portions of the North Island and some on the West Coast.
This weekend winds may become even colder, especially on Sunday. This wind flow, however, may create some spectacular sunny weather especially in sheltered regions facing away from the wind flow and looking to the north or west. This clearance should begin at some point on Friday in the South Island’s West Coast.