A big southwesterly

June 11, 2012

“The weather this week is going to pose a number of challenges for people,” said MetService’s Media and Communications Meteorologist Dan Corbett.”The southwest flow affecting New Zealand this week is likely to make its presence felt.”

Bitterly cold southwesterlies are expected to rise to gale force about exposed coastal hills from the Catlins to Otago Peninsula this morning and about Banks Peninsula this afternoon, bringing snow to near sea level. Snowfall accumulations are unlikely to reach warning amounts, but 5-10cm could accumulate down to about 300 metres. Nearer sea level, passing showers are likely to be either sleety or snowy in these areas from later today. “While snow over the east and south of the South Island is not expected to be nearly as widespread or heavy as last week’s, the combination of strong winds, low temperatures and showery conditions will feel seriously chilly,” commented Corbett.

Eastern coasts are likely to experience very large waves for a few days from today and peaking on Tuesday/Wednesday. These waves are the combination of strong southwesterlies just offshore and heavy swells coming out of the Southern Ocean. “Sweeping waves on exposed eastern coasts bring the risk of coastal erosion and a risk to people on beaches,” Corbett went on to say.

Over the next few days, weather conditions over the Chatham Islands will be very wintry. “They will bear the brunt of the cold southwesterlies with very strong winds, squally thunderstorms, hail and sleet from time to time. And to cap it off, sea conditions around the Chatham’s will be notable,with combined waves reaching perhaps 9 metres from Tuesday for a few days,” Corbett said.

As the week wears on frosts are expected to become widespread, occurring just about anywhere where there is a calm night. “Frosts may even affect Auckland later this week,” stated Corbett.

Travellers and holiday makers will want to keep an eye on the weather situation over the next several days. For the latest forecasts, watches/warnings log on to metservice.com or for mobile device m.metservice.com. You can also follow our updates on Twitter or catch the latest video forecasts on MetService TV.

For further information please contact:
Daniel Corbett (04) 4700-754 Media and Communications Meteorologist MetService

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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
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