Cold breath of winter

May 18, 2015

Some relatively settled weather over New Zealand to start the week, before a strong cold front arrives in the far south on Wednesday, and then moves up the country by the weekend. This front is followed by very cold southerlies, and as temperatures plummet over the South Island on Thursday, snow is possible to low levels. As the front moves north on Friday, the chilly weather spreads up the North Island along with rain for many places.

A strong southwesterly flow continues to bring showers to exposed parts of New Zealand today. It’s a particularly windy day in the far south, with a Watch in force for Southland, Clutha and Dunedin, for the possibility of west to southwest gales becoming severe with the passage of a weak cold front. On Tuesday, the front decays over the North Island and a ridge of high pressure builds over the country, bringing settled weather for a couple of days.

Much colder air is scheduled to arrive later this week following a strong cold front, with a significant drop in temperatures expected. “The colder air moves up the South Island on Thursday and onto the North Island on Friday, so have the winter woollies ready,” said MetService meteorologist Lisa Murray. “Although there’s some uncertainly at this stage, snow may fall to low levels over the South Island late Thursday and early Friday.” The strong southerly winds following the front are also expected to bring large waves to the south coast.

In addition to the cold front forecast to sweep up the country later this week, a low is expected to develop over the northwest Tasman Sea on Friday. This feature could bring significant rain to northern and western parts of the North Island. “The exact track of the low is hard to pin down at this stage, so keep an eye on forecasts for which areas could be affected,” added Murray.

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For further information please contact:
Lisa Murray Meteorologist (04)4700 754

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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