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Tropical rain clouds heading south – will NZ be hit next?

Deadly slips and flooding continue to affect Fiji while Queensland and now New South Wales are facing torrential rain as tropical and sub-tropical rain makers start to head south. says conditions have stepped up significantly in the past two weeks across the tropics and now it’s heading further south, closer to New Zealand.

Head weather analyst Philip Duncan says the risk for heavy sub-tropical rain makers heading towards new Zealand is increasing by the day.

We’re seeing severe floods in Fiji, severe floods and large evacuations in Queensland and now torrential rain in New South Wales.  There are storms in the Southern Ocean and a tropical cyclone is trying to get going in tropical western Australia – but New Zealand is so far protected from all these nasty systems due to large highs – but they don’t last forever”.

Mr Duncan refers to the unstable weather conditions that can lie in the zone between one departing high and the next incoming one.  “If you imagine summer highs as a line of soldiers linking arms…but sometimes the line gets pulled from one end or the other, breaking the link and creating a gap that is vulnerable to attack”.

And latest modelling indicates that might happen next week.

A rare inland low pressure system is expected to track over parts of the Australian desert after coming out of the tropics this weekend.  It is then predicted to move across the Tasman Sea and rapidly deepen on Monday just east of Tasmania and push into southern New Zealand over Monday and Tuesday. 

“There’s potential for severe gales and heavy rain in the South Island early next week.  Still too early to be 100% sure but most certainly one to watch” says Mr Duncan.

Image / Rain and wind map for 1am Tuesday Jan 31st



Anne on 27/01/2012 1:18am

We sail to Sydney in a couple of weeks, what are the chances of us meeting some of that weather in the Tasman and is the weather looking to improve ?


WW Forecast Team on 27/01/2012 4:07am

Hi Anne – condititions are very chaotic at the moment but there are some solid highs moving in quite frequently between NZ and NSW.

Keep an eye on our Maps page (link at the top of the page) and feel free to check in with us a few days before you depart. 

The current rain, swell and wind maps we have go out for 14 days.

Cheers – have a great trip 🙂

Philip Duncan

Anne on 29/01/2012 9:12am

Thanks, will keep an eye on your maps

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