Cooler and more settled weather on the horizon

February 28, 2016

A cold front is ready to sweep a cool change up the country, dropping temperatures in the south but eventually bringing some relief to those folk in northern New Zealand enduring warm overnight temperatures.  Behind the passage of the front, we will see a return to a more settled weather pattern over the country by the middle of next week.

Conditions over the North Island continue to be dominated by hot, humid tropical air, which has dragged large swathes of rain across several regions this weekend, including 40mm in parts of Auckland on Saturday evening.  As well as the rain, the temperatures and humidity in the north of the country continue to make sleeping difficult, as overnight minimums remain in the twenties.  A new band of rain approaches the central and upper North Island on Sunday evening, ensuring that rain and cloud will continue to dominate the start of the working week.  A Severe Weather Watch for heavy rain remains in place for parts of the North Island.

In contrast, late on Sunday the Deep South will be greeted by a strong cold front, which will race up the entire South Island before Monday lunch time.  The front will bring brief showers and southwest gales to many South Island towns, but perhaps more significantly will signal a big shift in temperatures. “Consider a place like Christchurch”, discussed MetService meteorologist Angus Hines, “The last three days have all been 33 degrees plus, but the maximum temperature forecast for Monday is 18 degrees, and that night is looking likely to get into single digits; it’s going to feel cold.” Further south the temperatures will be even lower, with a maximum forecast temperature of just 13 degrees in Invercargill for Monday.

The outlook for the rest of the week is more positive.  Later on Monday and into Tuesday the cold front will march northwards over the rest of the country, weakening as it does so.  While the temperature shift will not be as dramatic, it will bring an end to the humid conditions the upper North Island has been subjected to for much of the last week.  A ridge of high pressure builds quickly behind the cold front, meaning settled weather for many places from midweek, which may persist into the weekend as the next frontal band to hit the country looks likely to be confined to the lower South Island.

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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