It’s been with us for well over a week and finally, Monday, the storm that has brought chaos across the country will move out into the Pacific Ocean.
“It’s been an incredible several days of weather with big hail storms across the country, heavy snow in the central North Island, severe gales in Wellington and Auckland, flooding in Christchurch and tens of thousands of lightning strikes across the North Island’s west coast” says head weather analyst Philip Duncan.
So how is this week shaping up? “We have a high pressure system moving in from Australia. It brought some very pleasant, warm, weather to Sydney over the weekend but it’s unlikely to have the same impact here. We’ll have a couple of relatively settled days this Monday and Tuesday but the cold air dredged up by the wintry storm will mean very cold nights and pretty cold days”.
And Duncan says there’s another winter storm on the way. “It’s probably not going to be a repeat of what we’ve just had but it’s still going to bring some cold, wet, windy weather to much of the country”.
“We’ll have some showers about this week for many regions but by Thursday snow will fall to low levels in the South Island again. Snow is also predicted to fall around Central Plateau including the Desert Road by Friday night or the weekend, which means more travelling delays are possible”.
The Weather Watch Centre is also expecting heavy rain for the South Island which may spill over into the hydro lakes. “The area of low pressure that’s moving towards us in the Southern Ocean is roughly the size of Australia, which is very large. It has plenty of energy to send several rain and snow bearing fronts to the lower South Island’s hydro lakes over the next week or so, so fingers crossed it makes it”.
Strong winds ahead of the next low pressure system will mean more wind across the South Island and lower part of the North Island too. “Wellington will likely see gales again, and there could be some pretty strong gusts across eastern areas of both islands too”.