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Wintry weekend for many

The burst of unseasonable cold looks set to stay with most of us for the weekend as the low responsible for this weeks cold snap moves back towards New Zealand.

The low is currently centred near the Chatham Islands but by noon tomorrow will be just a couple of hundred kilometres off the Kaikoura coast. 

As we predicted the other day a large high is moving in from the Tasman Sea, but with this low backtracking it will push up against it creating strong winds over many central and eastern areas…it will also delay sunny, drier, weather from reaching east coast centres.

Head weather analyst Philip Duncan says Wellington looks set to be most exposed to the rain and wind.  “Wellington is directly lined up to get a howling, bitterly cold, southerly and plenty of rain.  The temperature in the Capital is likely to remain around 10 degrees right over the next few days with a wind chill much lower”.

Mr Duncan says gales are likely around Wellington and other coastal areas from about Kaikoura to coastal Wairarapa over Saturday and Sunday.

Despite rain being predicted in eastern areas of the South Island, isn’t too concerned at this stage about further flooding.  “The problems we’ve seen lately have been from torrential rain in the catchment areas of the lakes and rivers through western and inland areas of the South Island.  Rain from this system appears to be mostly along the eastern coastline and starting around Canterbury northwards”.

But the prospect of more rain won’t be welcome news to many in the east.  Cloudy skies and cold southerlies have prevailed lately with most days only reaching single digit temperatures.  The high pressure system in the Tasman Sea will bring sunnier, drier, weather to Southland, central Otago and the West Coast as the weekend progresses.

In the North Island a weak front is moving northwards this morning and may bring more snow and hail to the Desert Road and other Central Plateau highways.  It’s currently zero degrees in Waiouru with rain clouds moving in from the south west.

The rain band is currently also moving into south west Waikato and King Country with some heavy falls and possible hail – a weaker version of this rain band should reach Auckland city late this morning.

Across the weekend gusty south easterlies will spread as far north as Northland as that low backtracks.  A few showers are possible in Auckland and Whangarei on Sunday with rain developing along with strong cold southerlies across Hawkes Bay. 

Early next week we’ll see that high slowly spreading over the country but the cold southerlies may last well in to next week for many with frosts returning once those winds die out.


Derek on 22/05/2009 3:59am

What started off as a stunner of a day here in Whangarei with a temp of 3 deg at 7am, blue sky and beaut sunshine eventually by mid afternoon turned all grey and then into light rain.
A shame really as I was looking forward to a repeat of this over the weekend but as per forecast all seems to have changed.
But I suppose this is what the weather during winter does.

Thanks for the forecasts WW, great work again.

Te Aroha on 22/05/2009 12:53am

real heavy frost at the golf course even the greens were covered in ice -1 at 0730 now its at 9.2 12:45 real waikato frost looked like a snow cloud on Mt Te Aroha this morning at 0630 to close to tell if there was a light dusting or not

SW on 21/05/2009 11:23pm

Also in the 2009 edition of the “PredictWeather” handbook the isobaric map looks almost exactly like the the current pattern over the country this period.

Guest on 21/05/2009 11:23pm

Its howling and pouring down here in chch but not too cold. Can we expect more hail and snow to low levels or just alot of rain?

WW Forecast Team on 21/05/2009 11:32pm

Don’t think the air is going to be as cold as it was earlier this week so probably more rain.  It’s certainly going to be an indoors weekend…not good news for parents who want to kick their kids out of the house for some weekend sport.  Richard Green tells me a number of fields are already closed.

Philip Duncan

Woody on 21/05/2009 10:42pm

I think a round of applause is in order to both Weatherwatch and Metservice for their coverage and information for the recent storms.

In particular Metservice earns a bouquet for staying online right through the last two major storms to pass our way. The upgrades seem to be having an effect, its been a long time coming.

WW Forecast Team on 21/05/2009 11:31pm

Thanks for the feedback – much appreciated and nice to read.   I’ve passed on to Bob McDavitt at MetService as I know they’ve been working very hard on their site.


Philip Duncan

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