May 11, 2010

MetService has extended the Severe Weather Watch for the eastern hills of Northland, to now include the eastern ranges of Bay of Plenty, and the regions of Taranaki, Nelson, Buller, Westland, Marlborough and Canterbury.

“A deep low pressure system that has been stalled to the north of New Zealand for the past few days is now on the move,” commented MetService Weather Ambassador Bob McDavitt. “At this stage its most likely track will take it southwards to the west of the North Island on Wednesday and then onto the South Island on Thursday.”

“From Wednesday evening to Thursday morning, a period of northeast to northwest gales is likely in Taranaki, Nelson, Buller, Westland,Marlborough and Canterbury, and these winds may briefly be severe.”

McDavitt added that during Wednesday the entire Tasman Sea may become an arena of severe weather development. “This low will be drawing in strong moist winds and rain from the subtropics at the same time that a cold southerly spreads from the Southern Ocean across Tasmania and into offshore New South Wales, creating ideal conditions for further development.  Rain is likely to spread south over most of New Zealand with the heaviest falls in the north and west of both islands.”

“Now is the time to clear your gutters of all those autumn leaves, and any debris blocking drains, so that rain runoff can drain freely, even if your area is not included in the current watch regions,” suggested McDavitt.

“This is the first time that such a large low pressure system has visited New Zealand in a number of months, and it is still developing.  If you are travelling or working outdoors over the next few days, then stay up to date with the latest MetService weather forecasts and warnings and plan accordingly.”

For further information please contact:
Bob McDavitt       Weather Ambassador           (09)377 4831

(C) Copyright Meteorological Service of New Zealand Ltd 2010

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