Archive for February, 2011


February 28, 2011

MetService has issued Severe Weather Warnings to cover wind and rain associated with the passage of a trough across the South Island on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“This system is expected to begin affecting people in the Christchurch area late Tuesday, as winds become strong enough to make wind-blown dust a problem”, commented MetService Weather Ambassador, Bob McDavitt. “Northeast winds may pick up dust from Tuesday afternoon, and northwest to westerly winds are expected to become strong and gusty on Wednesday, reaching around 90 kph at times. These winds should ease on Wednesday afternoon.”

McDavitt commented that the stronger winds are very likely to produce clouds of dust. “Dust clouds may be thick enough to be tracked by the Christchurch high resolution radar, which is now available on the website.  There will also be some periods of light rain, but probably not enough to settle the wind-blown dust.”

Severe gale force winds are forecast for some other parts of the country. During Tuesday night, northwest wind gusts of around 130 kph may affect the Canterbury foothills and higher parts of Banks Peninsula. From early on Wednesday, gusts of around 120 kph may affect parts of Southland and Fiordland, eastern parts of Otago, the Kaikoura ranges, outer Marlborough Sounds, exposed hilltops of Wellington, and parts of southern Wairarapa.

Rain is likely to become heavy in Fiordland and Westland from Monday night. The heaviest falls are likely to spread north in a burst on Wednesday morning, reaching Buller and Nelson.  Lesser falls are likely east of the divide, but there may be rapid rises in those Otago and Canterbury rivers that have headwaters in the Southern Alps. Notably, this does not include the Avon and Heathcote rivers.

People planning to travel around the South Island and southern North Island over the next few days should be aware of the likelihood of heavy rain and strong winds.  Latest weather updates and warnings are available at or, for mobiles, at .

For further information please contact:
Bob McDavitt       Weather Ambassador           (09)377 4831
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 2011