Severe weather clearing for Easter weekend

March 24, 2016

The severe weather that has affected a large part of the country is expected to make way for mostly settled weather for Easter weekend. The low pressure system responsible for the severe weather is moving east over the North Island today and, although the severe weather has cleared for some, it will still affect the east of the North Island for a little longer with heavy rain warnings continuing for Bay of Plenty and Gisborne. A ridge of high pressure is then the dominant feature for Easter weekend, meaning that most people will see some sun.

Severe Weather Warnings and Watches were issued for the weather experienced in many regions of the country on Wednesday and Thursday, both heavy rain and severe gales. Flooding was reported in Franz Josef where 146 mm of rain fell in 24 hours, causing the Waiho River to break its banks and a state of emergency to be declared. The Nelson and Tasman Districts experienced the most rainfall, with 179 mm of rain recorded in Motueka and 145 mm at Nelson Airport in the 24 hours to 9am Thursday. Strong winds also affected many areas, with the peak gust of 150 km/h recorded at Kaeo in Northland.

“While the low pressure system tracks eastwards, most of the Severe Weather Warnings have been lifted,” said MetService Meteorologist Claire Flynn. “However, warnings remain in place for Coromandel Peninsula, Taupo and Tongariro National Park until Thursday afternoon. Also Bay of Plenty and Gisborne are under warning until Friday, with rain gradually easing there from Friday afternoon and eventually clearing as the Easter weekend progresses. Rain or showers are also expected to affect Hawke’s Bay and Wairarapa through to Saturday, and a Severe Weather Watch is in place for Hawke’s Bay.”

For other parts of the country, Easter weekend is looking mostly fine as a ridge of high pressure takes hold. In the North Island the exceptions to this are few areas of cloud, mostly in the mornings and evenings, and the odd shower during Easter weekend. “These showers are very isolated, so most people won’t see one,” Flynn said.

The South Island is also looking forward to a mainly fine Easter weekend, good news for those attending Warbirds over Wanaka. However, on Sunday a front approaches the South Island bringing rain to the west, and a few showers to Southland and the east coast later on, which will continue through to Easter Monday.

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 

%d bloggers like this: