The Roaring Forties

September 15, 2010

MetService expects a major outbreak of the westerlies over New Zealand from later on Thursday through to the end of the weekend.

“The westerlies are likely to be strong or gale force in many places from later Thursday, with winds possibly reaching severe gale around central New Zealand late in the week”, commented MetService’s Peter Kreft. “For a few days, New Zealand will be well and truly in the “roaring forties”. The weather and waves of the Southern Ocean are coming to pay us a visit.”

Mr Kreft added that the westerly gales should bring very heavy swells to western coasts of both islands, but more particularly from about Taranaki northwards, for a few days from Friday. “These wild seas will need to be treated with respect”.

A gradual change to bitterly cold conditions is likely to spread onto southern New Zealand from late Friday and this may bring appreciable amounts of snow to low levels. Near zero wind-chill conditions are likely to be very stressful for vulnerable farm animals.

Farmers, travellers and those involved in marine activities should stay up to date with the latest weather warnings and forecasts. Updates are available on and,for mobiles, on .

For further information please contact:
Peter Kreft        Chief Forecaster                  (04)4700 806

MetService issues Warnings, Watches and Outlooks for severe weather over New Zealand.
Warnings are about taking action:
* When severe weather is imminent or is occurring
* Issued only when required
* Recommendation: ACT
Watches are about being alert:
* When severe weather is possible, but not sufficiently imminent or certain for a Warning to be issued
* Issued only when required
* Recommendation: BE READY
Outlooks are about looking ahead:
* To provide advance information on possible future Watches and/or Warnings
* Issued routinely once or twice a day
* Recommendation: PLAN

(C) Copyright Meteorological Service of New Zealand Ltd 2010

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