Autumn marches in

March 3, 2014

A deep and slow moving area of low pressure to the east of the country is set to make it an active weather week with cold, windy and wet weather likely from Otago to the Wairarapa. MetService has issued Severe Weather Warnings for severe southwest gales and heavy rain, with thunderstorms.

The coldest weather this week is likely to be overnight Monday into Tuesday with temperatures in the Mackenzie country of the South Island likely to dip back down to freezing, 0C. Flurries of snow are forecast to as low as 900 metres for parts of Southland and Otago. On the North Island,the Wairarapa and the Central Plateau are likely to experience some of the coldest overnight temperatures tonight.

Strengthening southerly winds are also set to make it feel cooler still, especially about the east coast of the South Island and the south of the North Island. “A vigorous low to the east of New Zealand is set to feed cloud, rain and hail into the likes of Canterbury and Otago through Tuesday, accompanied by a core of severe southwest gales.” MetService meteorologist John Law explained. “The winds will be strongest about exposed coastal locations from the Otago Peninsula up to the Wairapara coast during Tuesday and into Wednesday. The combination of the howling winds and cold air is going to bring a noticeable wind chill.”

Although the forecast contains plenty of rainfall for southern and some eastern parts of New Zealand, the rain gauges in the north and west of the country are not likely to report much this week. “Rainfall totals in places from Waikato and up to Northland for February have been very low, Auckland only recorded 11mm for the whole month and Hamilton only 12mm – the normal figures for February are around 60 to 70mm” Law said. “A band of showers moving across the northwest of the country on Monday is likely to be the best chance of seeing some rainfall in these spots this week.”

Keep up to date with the latest forecasts and any 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 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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