Fronting up to a cooler change

December 3, 2015

The sweltering heat of this week is set to cool off as we move into the weekend. Two cold fronts in succession each turn the temperature down a notch, while spreading cloud and rain across much of New Zealand this weekend. The first front crosses the North Island on Friday, with the second front moving up the South Island on Saturday and the North Island on Sunday. A cooler southwesterly flow follows the second front, becoming strong over the South Island on Monday.

Invercargill enjoyed 29 degrees on Wednesday, but retreats to below its December climatological mean with maximum temperatures of 15C on Saturday and 12C on Sunday. The Christchurch Northwester takes a break once the front passes on Saturday, with southwesterlies clocking a Sunday max of just 15C. Wellington stays mainly fine with 20C on Saturday, until southerlies early Sunday bring a spell of rain. Both fronts fizzle out before reaching Auckland, although a humid airmass will keep it cloudy there with showers developing Sunday night.

Most places in the west can expect rain from each front. On Sunday the second front races up the east coast with northwesterlies aloft, meaning there is a good chance of showers spreading across the ranges into the drought-affected east. However, neither side will get anything like the rainfall we have seen in the west of the South Island this week, where some places received over 150mm in 24 hours.

Looking ahead to next week, the southwest flow promises cooler temperatures and a good swell from the south as a low rolls by in the southern ocean. As the week progresses, a ridge should spread across the country bringing more settled 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

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