An unsettled end to the week

May 25, 2012

After a week of mostly settled conditions across New Zealand, the weekend brings a change to much wetter and windier weather. The large anticyclone that has dominated skies over the last week moves away to the east, allowing a deepening low pressure system to cross the Tasman Sea – bringing with it strengthening winds and a spell of heavy rain.

“Much of New Zealand has been sitting beneath high pressure this week,which has kept a number of fronts away from the country,” MetService forecaster John Law explained. “However, this high will edge away during the weekend, allowing the developing system in the Tasman Sea to move towards the country.”

As this low pressure approaches, winds are expected to increase and MetService has issued a strong wind warning for inland parts of Canterbury and Otago. Ahead of this feature, northwest winds will strengthen to gale force from Saturday night, with gusts of 120 km/h expected. Heading into Sunday, gales are also likely to develop across Wellington as well as northern and western parts of Marlborough.

Heavy rain is also likely to be a feature this weekend, especially for the west of the South Island, as strong north-westerly winds drive rain onshore from Saturday night. As well as heavy rainfall warnings for parts of Fiordland and southern parts of Westland, MetService has also issued a Severe Weather Watch for heavy rain for the Otago and Southland headwaters, northwest Nelson and Buller, and the remainder of Westland.

“By Sunday afternoon the heaviest rain should have cleared the south of the country. However, as this feature continues to move northwards, it does look to be a wet start to the week for the North Island,” commented Law.

MetService’s forecast team will continue to monitor the situation through the weekend.

You can keep up to date with the latest weather warnings and watches at metservice.com or on your mobile device at m.metservice.com. For the story behind the latest forecasts, check out MetService TV.

For further information please contact:
Jacqui Bridges GM Communications (04)4700 777

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