Several Severe Weather Warnings and a Watch still in effect

February 18, 2016

The country’s run of good summer weather has been disrupted by a number of active fronts running up the west of the country. Many areas have been wet and windy, and there are still several Severe Weather Warnings and a Severe Weather Watch in effect.
The wettest spots for this event have been the ranges of Westland and Nelson along with Mt Taranaki, where 200 to 300mm or more has fallen. Some areas also saw thunderstorms which boosted rainfall rates to 30 or 40 mm in one hour, causing surface flooding, land slips and poor visibility while driving.  “These big totals are due in part to a sub-tropical air mass that dragged moisture laden air down to NZ,” said MetService Meteorologist Lisa Murray. “This moisture has been squeezed out of the tropical air thanks to numerous fronts moving up the country”.
There are still Severe Weather Warnings (latest at place for the West Coast of the South Island as another front moves up the country tonight and into Friday morning. The Bay of Plenty and Rotorua can expect heavy rain until Friday afternoon and some areas could get totals of up to 160mm on top of what has already fallen there.  As well as Warning areas, there is a Severe Weather Watch in force for rain and wind which may affect a number of areas in both the North and South Islands. You can find the latest updates for these at

Looking ahead to the weekend, thankfully there is an improving trend. Rain is expected in the west and south of the South Island on Saturday, but there should be sunny spells and high cloud elsewhere which bodes well for the Blackcaps game in Christchurch. The South Island’s Sunday looks like a day of cloudy periods with a few showers, especially in the morning, with fine breaks increasing later in the day.

The North Island will be mainly fine on Saturday (a good day for the White Ferns’ one day match against Australia at Mt. Maunganui) and this continues into Sunday morning, with a few showers arriving later in the day thanks to a weak southerly change. Those entering the Cigna Round the Bays event in Wellington on Sunday can expect a mainly fine day, but there is a chance of a shower or two as a weak southerly passes through Wellington during the race.

In the tropics, Severe Tropical Cyclone (TC) Winston is now a category 4 cyclone lying northwest of Niue. TC Winston is now expected to change direction and head on a westward track again, which unfortunately may impact some islands that have already seen Winston pass by. For the latest track check

Official Severe Weather Watches and Warnings are reviewed and re-issued by MetService at least every twelve hours, and more often if necessary. To get the most up to date information on severe weather around the country, or any other forecasts, see 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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