Cooler days ahead after a weekend of warm weather

March 7, 2016

Many across the country enjoyed an unseasonably warm and settled weekend, with a number of places in the east of the South Island and lower North Island reaching the early 30s. However, the west of the South Island was cooler and wetter, with Milford Sound recording over 200mm during the weekend.  This is set to change in the latter half of this week, as a strong cold southerly change sweeps northwards.

The warm temperatures continue into the week for the North Island and top of the South Island, with a number of places in Wairarapa and Hawke’s Bay expected to reach 30 degrees today.

The first cold front moves up the South Island today, bringing some heavy rain to Westland, and strong northwest winds to Hawke’s Bay as it  moves onto the North Island on Tuesday. However, the coldest air accompanies the second cold front, which moves up the country on Thursday.

Strong northwesterly winds are expected ahead of this front on Thursday, with severe gales possible in exposed places in the eastern South Island and lower North Island. These are followed by a strong southerly change, which brings colder air straight up from the Southern Ocean. Northern New Zealand won’t feel the temperature change quite so much, but everywhere else will feel significantly colder. The coldest areas will be the far south and Otago, where daytime maximums will only reach the mid to late teens, and drop down to single digits at night. The strong southerly flow will also bring large swell of four to five metres to southern and eastern coasts.

Western parts of the South Island will bear the brunt of the rain accompanying the second cold front, with accumulations likely to reach warning amounts there. Elsewhere just expect a few showers as the front sweeps north.

However, behind this change a ridge of high pressure builds which should bring fine weather across much of the country over the weekend.

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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