Wet and windy

January 7, 2016

A low and an associated frontal rain band over the Tasman Sea are moving eastwards and are set to bring a period of heavy rain and strong winds to many parts of the country over the next two days.

The heaviest rain is expected about the ranges of northern Westland through to northwest Nelson and up to the Tararua Range, but other areas will also see some heavy downpours as the front moves up the country. This rain is accompanied by a risk of squally thunderstorms tomorrow afternoon for all western areas north of New Plymouth excluding Bay of Plenty, with localised downpours of 25-40mm in an hour possible. “With many people still on holiday and involved in outdoor activities including tramping, care should be taken as large amounts of rain in a relatively short period will cause rivers and stream levels to rise rapidly,” advised MetService Meteorologist Lisa Murray.

Northwest gales are expected to become severe for a time over parts of Marlborough, Wellington and Wairarapa during Friday, with gusts of up to 140 km/h or more possible in some exposed places. Strong winds are also expected to affect the Kapiti Coast and Hawke’s Bay, although to a lesser degree. Winds of this strength can cause damage to trees, power lines and unsecured structures and could also make driving conditions hazardous, especially about higher roads such as the Rimutaka Hill Road.

Murray suggests, “People venturing into all these areas, especially the ranges about Kahurangi National Park and the Tararua Range, are advised to take extra care and keep up to date with the latest forecasts”. The latest Severe Weather Warnings can be found at http://metservice.com/warnings/severe-weather-warnings and it’s important to check Watches as well (these are areas that don’t quite reach Warning criteria but still have the potential to experience adverse weather).

Behind the front, the country sits in a disturbed southwest flow which eases on Sunday as a ridge pushes onto New Zealand, bringing more settled weather until early next week.

Meanwhile in the Tropics, Tropical Cyclone Ula is slowly making its way toward southern Vanuatu. The expectation is for TC Ula’s track to recurve southwards past New Caledonia early next week. MetService meteorologists continue to watch this system closely to assess its potential to have any effect on New Zealand’s weather. You can keep up to date with tropical developments on our TC Activity page at http://metservice. com/warnings/tropical-cyclone-activity

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 and @MetServiceWARN on Twitter and at blog.metservice.com


For further information please contact:
Lisa Murray Communications Meteorologist 04 4700754


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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