Heavy rain and gales moving northwards

May 7, 2015

Half a metre of rain fell on parts of the West Coast during Wednesday, and the Capital was blasted with severe gales this morning. “A number of stations on the West Coast recorded in excess of 200mm on Wednesday, with the largest event total of 660mm at a station located in the Southern Alps, ” commented MetService meteorologist Peter Little. “Even Arthurs Pass, usually sheltered by the Alps, recorded 290mm.”

Further east, Christchurch recorded just 0.2mm of rain, and reached one of its highest May temperatures ever, with 26.6C on Wednesday afternoon.Severe northwest gales squeezed through Cook Strait this morning,with gusts of 130 to 140km/h recorded across the Capital, along with near horizontal rain.

“A strong and very moist northwest flow was responsible for this extreme weather, and is now moving onto the North Island, with many areas likely to be affected by heavy rain and severe gales,” added Little. In addition, a Watch is in force for a burst of heavy rain over the upper North Island ( including Auckland) tonight and Friday morning. See http://metservice.com/warnings/home for full details on the Severe Weather Warnings and Watches.

A disturbed northwest flow persists over much of the country through to the middle of next week. The only respite is a ridge that moves eastwards across northern New Zealand over the weekend, which is good news for those wanting to enjoy Mothers’ Day outdoors. “We are expecting fine weather over northern and eastern parts of the country over the weekend,” Little went on to say. “After a fine day on Saturday, the southwest of the North Island will likely see increasing cloud and wind for Mothers’ Day. Unfortunately, folk on the West Coast can expect unsettled weather to prevail, so it would be advisable to plan for indoor activities with Mum.”

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, at MetService New Zealand on Facebook@metservice on Twitter and at blog.metservice.com.

For further information please contact:
Peter Little 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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