The low that wouldn’t go

September 20, 2015

The good news for the week ahead is that temperatures will slowly rise. The bad news is that most parts of the country – particularly the North Island and South Island east coast – will see rain most days.

Today a southerly flow has brought cold air to much of the country, with snow falling in the mountains on both islands. Meanwhile, a low formed over Auckland which has brought gales and heavy rain to the much of the North Island.

The picture for next week is that the low just won’t go. A blocking ridge of high pressure to the east keeps the low loitering around the East Cape, slowly moving south. Late on Thursday another low approaches from the north Tasman Sea, absorbing its predecessor and passing around the upper North Island on Friday. A thin ridge holds over the far south until Wednesday, but the best of the weather will be found on the South Island West Coast.

The impacts of this are sustained southeasterlies for the east coast, bringing rain, sometimes heavy, from the East Cape down to Otago. The worst of the rain moves south, with the risk for Hawkes Bay reducing on Wednesday while it increases for Marlborough, Canterbury and Eastern Otago. A severe rain warning is currently is force for Hawkes Bay, Bay of Plenty and the Gisborne region south of Tolaga Bay, and a watch is out for Wairarapa. Before the temperatures rise next week, this rain will fall as snow in the hills. There is a good chance of a top up on Mt Ruapehu on Monday, with a warning out for heavy snow above 800m about the central plateau. Strong winds which have buffeted central and southern North Island today should ease on Tuesday as the low slowly weakens, but will pick up again later in the week as the next low approaches. “As the low drags warmer air down from the tropics temperatures will rise from the chilly weekend”, said meteorologist Tom Adams, “but also the chance of low cloud and fog affecting airports increases, particularly in the early part of next week.”

Spring may have sprung, but with these tightly coiled lows around the barbeques won’t be leaving the garage just yet.

Keep up to date with the latest forecasts and any watches/warnings at or on mobile devices at You can also follow our updates on MetService TV, at MetService New Zealand on Facebook@metservice on Twitter and at

For further information please contact:
Thomas Adams Meteorologist (04)4700848

MetService issues Warnings, Watches and Outlooks for severe weather over New Zealand.
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