Wrap up warm

May 27, 2013

An extremely cold southerly blast is set to bring a real taste of winter across much of New Zealand this week. Temperatures are set to plummet and snowfall is expected to low levels over the South Island through to the middle of the week, followed by hard frosts for much of the country. Additionally, heavy thundery showers, with very squally winds, hail and large swells are set to make this a busy week of weather.

“Cold air spreading across the country from near Antarctica is going to prompt most of us to reach for those extra layers in the coming days,” MetService Communications Meteorologist John Law said. “The combination of strong winds and low temperatures is going to make it feel bitterly cold. Snow to very low levels, especially in parts of the South Island, and the odd heavy fall of small hail, are likely to disrupt travel on some roads over the next couple of days. Additionally, strong wind gusts from heavy showers and thunderstorms are likely, perhaps reaching 130 km/h, particularly in western areas of both islands, through to early Wednesday.”

Heavy southwest swells arriving on western coasts of both islands are expected to ease from mid-week. “If you’re at a west-facing beach anywhere over the next few days, be aware of the danger of long sweeping waves,” Law went on to say.

Heading into the middle of the week an area of high pressure is expected to build across the country from the west. As this high builds over the country, the coldest air pulls away from New Zealand allowing a slight warming towards the end of the week.

Keep up to date with the latest forecasts and the many watches/warnings at metservice.com or on mobile devices at m.metservice.com. You can also follow our updates on MetService TV, @metservice on Twitter and at blog.metservice.com.

For further information please contact:
John Law Communications Meteorologist (04)4700 754
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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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