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Your Labour Weekend forecast & travel forecast

This Labour Weekend is certainly a messy one to predict weather-wise says, as our chaotic and wild spring weather pattern continues across New Zealand and the South Pacific. forecasters say most regions will genuinely have a mixed bag of weather this weekend.  Sun, rain, wind, warm and cold all in there. 

In short – we have a strong west to south west flow which will continue until Sunday night.  By Monday a new and large low in the Tasman Sea will pose more severe weather threats to New Zealand – afterall, it is October!

The Details…

On Friday a strong sou’west flow across New Zealand will mean fast moving showers for some, very cold for others, and sunny for those sheltered most from sou’westers (like Nelson for example).  Winds will reach gale force in exposed areas south of Auckland but will ease as the day goes on – for some the winds may not ease entirely but should ease back from their peaks over Thursday and early Friday.

On Saturday the nation has a brief breather, unless you live on the West Coast and the Deep South.  High pressure north of New Zealand will dip far enough south to bring a mostly settled Saturday to the upper North Island and while winds will build for central NZ and the South Island’s east coast, it will be mostly dry – and slightly warmer.  Heavy rain returns to the West Coast though. Watch for rain warnings.  A cold blast is also going to move into Southland and Otago bringing snow flurries at night to a few hundred metres (but above the main centres) and sleet lower down to 100 or 200 metres – mostly overnight  Queenstown may see an overnight flurry higher up on Saturday night/Sunday morning.   Rain moves into the North Islands west coast at night/into Sunday morning.

Sunday and that cold change really impacts the lower South Island with single digit highs or low double digit highs for Southland and Otago.  Canterbury may reach the low teens.  In the North Island the data is still a bit conflicted about timing and just how much rain will fall – but either way Sunday has the highest chance for rain for the North Island, still around 60 to 70% confidence.  Strong west to north west winds will ease by evening.

Labour Day Monday sees a dynamic shift in our weather – away from the blustery west to south west flow, to a very large low in the Tasman Sea.  Early models pick this low will fill the entire Tasman Sea area – fuelled by cold southerlies coming in from the south and warm, moisture rich sub-tropical air from the north.  In short it’s a good recipe for deepening this low and some models are picking strong northerlies to strong easterlies – and rain will move in later on in the day.  One to watch for further weather warnings – and one to watch for the start of next week regardless of the long weekend.

Stay on top of the unsettled weather this long weekend…

  • Flying?  Check our wind maps to see windy hot spots for your flights – domestic or anywhere around the world, we have your global wind maps covered.
  • Driving?  Check out our rain forecast maps – see where the rain will be, how heavy it will be and just how long it will last. 
  • Going by Ferry?  All the swell maps are there for you – so you can see Cook Strait swell conditions or local harbour conditions. 

All weather maps – going out 14 days – can be found here

Check the forecasts… now has detailed forecasts for Auckland, Hamilton and Christchurch (and next year we roll out many more).  

See our detailed forecasts – and the latest raw data forecasts for most other main centres in NZ – by clicking here.

– Homepage image /  Wellington’s south coast David Shone

(c) – all our forecasts are independent of the government forecaster MetService


nick on 18/10/2012 11:51pm

Sunday’s forecast for Canterbury of max temp in the low teens looks a bit pessimistic. Metservice has Christchurch on 21º and last few runs of GFS show rather warm temperatures ?!

WW Forecast Team on 19/10/2012 12:19am

Hi Nick – totally agree with you!  We’ve been busy all day tweaking forecasts.  As we said on Monday the slightest wind direction change will have significant effects on the forecasts due to our mountain ranges.  This is a perfect example – what looked like a SW wind only just 24 hours ago (for Sunday) now looks W (even N for a while).  We always knew it would be mostly dry (unlike the others who had rain for all 3 days) but the temps are the hardest part to nail.  Expect to see that Chch forecast shift upwards when we update within the hour!



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