June 16, 2011

The weekend’s weather is likely to be dominated by a large low. Rain and strong winds are expected over many parts of the country, and there is a risk of snow to relatively low levels over inland parts of Canterbury and Otago.

“At this stage, MetService has issued a Watch for severe gales over Northland and Auckland from late Friday and heavy rain for Bay of Plenty and northwest Nelson on Saturday,” commented MetService Chief Forecaster Peter Kreft. “Heavy rain may continue into Sunday in some places.”

“In addition, the rain may arrive over inland parts of Canterbury and possibly Otago on Saturday before very cold overnight conditions expected in those places have gone,” said Peter Kreft. “This may result in snow falls to low levels there, and we’ll be keeping a particularly close eye on conditions leading up to this time.”

The large low bringing all this unsettled weather is currently over the western Tasman Sea and is deepening rapidly. It is expected to cross New Zealand on Sunday and move away to the east of the country on Monday, leaving cold southerly winds and showers in its wake.

The uncertainty about the full impact of this low as it crosses the country means people are strongly advised to keep up-to-date with the latest weather forecasts, including any watches and warnings that may be issued, on the web at, or for mobiles at

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 2011

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