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Stormy four days coming – what exactly is happening?

A deep low in the Southern Ocean will this weekend launch itself across the country, bringing rough weather to both islands, rain to our driest regions and snow to our barren ski fields.

The storm will generate heavy rain, gales and thunderstorms too. 

As always (thanks to our mountains and ranges), as the low moves through, some areas may see a change to much sunnier, drier weather.  A lot is being thrown at New Zealand over the next few days, so expect a period of wind, rain, sun and cold at some point where you are.

AM – Heavy rain moves up the West Coast with thunderstorms and squalls possible. Heavy showers move into the SW corner of the North Island.  A few showers/spits in the east of both islands, strong to gale west to north west winds.
PM – Rain continues on the West Coast but not as intense as the morning rain.  Intense rain now moves into the western North Island from roughly Kapiti/Horowhenua to Waikato and Auckland.  Auckland will see heavy downpours at night with a chance of thunderstorms briefly late Friday night.

Friday evening shows the centre of the deep low (970hPa) very clearly reaching the lower South Island 

AM – Normally we have fronts sliding up the West Coast but on Saturday the actual centre of the low will track up the West Coast followed by a sunny southerly.
PM – By noon the centre of the low will be around Cook Strait with a colder southerly quarter flow over the entire South Island and just a few showers.  The North Island has a warmer day with nor’westers and showers increasing in the west, turning to rain with heavy falls later.  By evening, the centre of the once-Southern Ocean low will now be crossing the Auckland/Waikato areas.

The low continues to track up New Zealand’s western coastline, lying around Cook Strait at lunchtime


Sunday & Monday:

A large high centred over Sydney and a deep low centred just east of East Cape means New Zealand is directly in the path of a strong southerly air flow.  With the low off the North Island’s east coast, it will fuel an increasingly wetter south to south east flow driving rain and showers into our driest eastern regions, while many western areas see the sun.  The west of the North Island is also mostly sunny or dry but showers, some heavy, may still be offshore and brushing other regions further north (like Waikato, Auckland and Northland). 

While this is Monday’s map, both Sunday and Monday have a similar set up (see our Maps tab for more details).

Image / Rain maps via 




Andrew on 19/05/2016 1:24am

Hi Weatherwatch, this is the stuff us weatherbods like!  The weather and the coverage!

Anthony Blears on 19/05/2016 1:02am

‘baron ski fields’ should be ‘barren ski fields’ in the opening sentence.

WW Forecast Team on 19/05/2016 1:37am

Fixed, thanks! 🙂

– WW Team

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