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South west flow to linger until weekend

The sou’west wind flow is likely to remain until the end of the weekend for most regions predicts, as a week long system continues to affect the country.

Thunder, tornadoes, hail and snow have all made up the forecast as have sunny spells with settled weather.  The sunny weather has been due to the various wind changes as the circular low pressure system slowly churned by across the country. 

As the winds shift certain regions have enjoyed sun while on the other side of the ranges heavy showers with thunder, hail and squalls have been blowing through.

Historically sou’westers bring in broken cloud and showers for western areas at this time of the year but the south west wind direction can bring stunning weather for others.

Wellington rarely has a sou’wester – it either turns to a more mild westerly or a colder southerly, thanks to the blocking nature of the Southern Alps.

Snow and rain is less likely to make it to Canterbury, and certainly to the main centres, due to the sheltering nature of the Southern Alps and regions Southland and Otago which should the brunt of sou’westers.

However the sou’west wind can howl through Auckland whichi is a natural “tunnel” for the sou’west wind which comes off the Tasman Sea and the shape of the upper North Island tends to funnel strong sou’westers through Auckland, the Hauraki Gulf and around the tip of Coromandel Peninsula.

So expect cooler weather this week as a result of the sou’westers – which will bring in showers and cloud for regions exposed to the wind – and for others, sun.

– By head weather analyst Philip Duncan



Richard on 15/05/2012 10:20pm

Been a few good downpours of rain this morning and a few passing thunderstorms as well. Need the lightning to activate the nitrogen in the ground for the grass, but not too much more rain though…getting a bit muddy.

sw on 15/05/2012 8:44pm

Surprise surprise,the NW flow lasts only 1/3rd the time,no where as strong either.

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