Archive for December, 2015

A wet start to the new year

December 31, 2015

Severe weather, particularly heavy rain, will lead the headlines as we move into the New Year. While New Year’s Eve looks good for most places, including key holiday spots, heavy rain and strong winds will make their way south over the first few days of 2016. This is due to a low pressure system to the north of the country, which is dragging very humid air from the tropics right towards New Zealand; a recipe for wet, muggy days.

MetService has issued a Severe Weather Warning for heavy rain in Northland, northern Auckland and Great Barrier Island, beginning early Friday morning. As well as this, MetService has issued a Severe Weather Watch encompassing heavy rain and strong wind in Northland, Auckland, Coromandel, Waikato and the Bay of Plenty. The rain will continue to march south, dousing the whole of the North Island by Saturday morning, and the Watch and Warning will be updated accordingly.

The South Island gets a far better start to 2016, with a ridge of high pressure dominating the weather there. This will be short lived, as the rain over the North Island pushes southward, reaching Marlborough, Nelson and Buller early on Saturday. “There could be some useful falls of rain for the parched upper South Island, but the extent remains uncertain at the moment,” said MetService Meteorologist Angus Hines.

When asked about summer holiday spots, Mr Hines commented, “It is going to be especially important for campers and holiday makers to monitor the forecasts, as many popular destinations look set for some prolonged rain and gusty winds. I certainly recommend packing a good book.” People planning on spending time on the water should also be vigilant, especially about the east coast where high swell and strong winds are forecast.

The outlook for next week is more positive, with a cold front pushing up the country early in the week clearing away most of the rain. Behind this front a ridge of high pressure will begin to develop and we will hopefully see a return to settled summer weather.

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 and @MetServiceWARN on Twitter and at 

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. They are 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. They are issued only when required. 
Recommendation: BE READY 

Outlooks are about looking ahead, providing advance information on possible future Watches and/or Warnings. They are issued routinely once or twice a day. 
Recommendation: PLAN