Our first significant spring storm of the season is developing and looks set to bring a rough end to the week and weekend across the country.
The developing low, which WeatherWatch.co.nz says will be one of the largest lows on the planet at the time, is going to brush past New Zealand as it slowly churns through the Southern Ocean.
But despite the centre not making a direct hit strong winds, heavy rain and a wintry tail will see most of New Zealand get their first taste of a spring storm.
WeatherWatch.co.nz predicts the heaviest rain will be along the entire South Island West Coast and again into the western ranges of the North Island which will include the Tararua Ranges – recently hit by flooding – and Mt Taranaki.
Heavy rain is also likely to affect western parts of the central North Island.
Strong winds, possibly severe gale force (120km/h +) will affect inland eastern areas right up against the Southern Alps, also about central New Zealand such as exposed parts of Marlborough, Wellington and Wairarapa. Gales may also affect Taranaki, especially east of the mountain with strong winds across Wanganui and Manawatu.
Western parts of Bay of Plenty, Hawkes Bay and Gisborne are all likely to be blustery too – with gales likely on the ranges on Friday.
On Saturday a cold change is likely to see snow falling to sea level about Southland and possibly Otago.
WeatherWatch.co.nz says this is normal spring weather.
It’s unclear if the storm will have any impact for quake affected buildings in Canterbury, at this stage Canterbury will see strong winds inland, but not so bad for Christchurch. A cold southerly change on Saturday may bring in some heavy showers with hail. WeatherWatch.co.nz will keep you up to date with the Canterbury forecast as the week progresses.
MetService is monitoring the storm too with a number of regions highlighted in their latest Severe Weather Outlook.
MetService says the rain and wind will arrive Thursday and Friday with snow possible on Saturday about Southland and Fiordland.
on 13/09/2010 9:18pm
…around 9.11 am – another sharp aftershock…4.7 estimate
….place your bets now!
on 13/09/2010 9:26pm
You were fairly close – it was 4.3
– WeatherWatch team