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Just when many Kiwis thought the severe weather had ended a new storm is heading towards us from the Southern Ocean with gales and heavy rain predicted to kick Spring off on Monday. 

Head weather analyst Philip Duncan says we’re shifting from a winter pattern to a spring one and short, sharp, storms are all part of the normal process.  “A very aggressive low deep in the Southern Ocean will compete with the strong summer-like anticyclone over New Zealand – that means a squeeze zone will form over the South Island”.  Mr Duncan says the squeeze zone is an area between a low and a high where winds are at their strongest – the air pressure literally being squeezed.

“This is a typical spring battle of air pressure and when nor’westers are squeezed over the Southern Alps it creates severe gales in some areas – especially in the far south and east – and this is the forecast for the start of next week”.

Mr Duncan says the weekend itself looks ‘pretty good’ but winds are expected to pick up across some of the South Island ski fields during Sunday. 

“Monday will see strong, warm, nor’westers setting in across the South Island with temperatures possibly reaching into the late teens, even early 20s in places like Canterbury”.

And while mainly sunny weather is expected in the east, torrential rain is likely in the west.  Government forecaster MetService has issued a number of severe weather watches with a high risk for heavy rain along the South Island’s west coast from Monday through Wednesday.

For the North Island gales are likely in Wellington on Tuesday or Wednesday – which oddly will be good news for the Capital.   “After so much rain and so many landslides affecting people’s homes the warm, strong, winds should help dry the ground out”.

High air pressure is expected to linger over Auckland and the rest of the North Island holding back much of the rain or showers.

“The key thing to remember about next week is the word ‘north’ ” says Duncan.  “North westerlies over central and southern New Zealand, North easterlies over the upper part of the country.  Winds from the north are warmer so daytime highs next week will certainly be more comfortable than they’ve been in while”.


Check back throughout the weekend for extra updates on the latest on the Weekend Weather, our own independent forecasts, and the latest on Spring’s first blast.


Kathryn on 29/08/2008 10:38pm

Just got back from morning sport in Auckland. Its overcast, raining and cold. Is this as good as our “high” is going to get for the weekend or can we expect it to fine up at some stage? You mentioned “gloom” but not sure if this is what you ment.
I’m hoping we get more of the beautiful blue sky we had on Thursday. Loved the blue sky photo the other day. I’d thought to do the dame thing earlier that day myself.
Thanks for your time and keep up the good work.

WW Forecast Team on 29/08/2008 10:58pm

Hi Kathryn,

Yeah "gloom" is an understatement isn’t it!!  Read my new story posted above, it explains what’s happening.  Today is probably working writing off – but tomorrow is looking better.  If the high was a little further north we wouldn’t be getting this in Auckland…was just a slight shift in the wind that has created this!  Typical.  🙂  

I’m hoping conditions will improve later this afternoon – will update again mid-afternoon.


Philip Duncan

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