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There is no winter storm, but we do have pockets of severe weather – WW breaks it down (+2 Maps)

Sometimes in New Zealand other forecasters and media outlets love to call everything a “storm”, but in reality this week we have a big lazy low that is delivering some pockets of rough weather – while many in between have quiet conditions.

So what are the main features with this current set up? Firstly – it’s text book spring weather when you have warmer than average, colder than average, hail, snow, rain, tornadoes and sun all in one day. Secondly – the low is lazy, not stormy. The main features change from day to day, so let’s try to break it down easily. Here are the main highlights:


  • Rain increases in parts of Otago, Southland and Canterbury. Watch for pockets of flooding, as these regions (esp coastal Otago and Canterbury) don’t cope well with moderate rain that is set in, let alone heavy rain.
  • Cooler than average across a large chunk of the South Island and increasingly spreading up the North Island.
  • Heavy snow across the Southern Alps and southern ranges.
  • Isolated hail possible in the South Island, mainly the eastern side.
  • Some isolated downpours in the North Island, otherwise mainly dry and fairly calm.


  • Heavy rain in Otago, Southland and Canterbury finally starts to ease, but may take all day for some areas. Watch for flooding (esp Dunedin/coastal Otago)
  • Heavy rain continues to fall as Heavy Snow in the mountains and ranges.
  • Afternoon downpours in the North Island may have thunder and hail and cause localised flooding later in the day.


  • Heavy rain moves into the western and upper North Island. There may be some thunderstorms later.
  • Some heavy downpours possible later in the upper South Island, with a chance of isolated thunder inland.
  • Temperatures go up a little in both islands.


  • System clears away to the east, temperatures return to warmer than average for most places.
  • Some early rain for dry Hawke’s Bay
  • Possible afternoon downpours along the eastern ranges of both islands.



Andrew on 19/11/2018 5:56pm

Yes, just because there is unseasonal snow (and a lot of it) does not make it a storm. It’s fascinating how such a large area of cold air can hang around for so long in November and usually it’s a fleeting thing. We can count ourselves lucky that high pressure didn’t get wedged down there in July!
Travelling through the Motueka Valley yesterday there was a layer of grauple from Tapawera to Motueka and a thick mist over the roads as it landed on the tarmac. The shower persisted for a couple of hours.

Derek on 18/11/2018 11:58pm

Thanks WW for a realistic opinion and forecast of the bad weather affecting parts of the country. Certainly a more balanced forecast than the over zealous others.
Read a comment in news this morning from one of them and it seemed that the lower SI was underneath a ton of snow.
Well done a usual and why I follow you.

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