Cold start to a week of unsettled weather

May 23, 2016

A westerly flow bringing a series of fronts and lows predominates this week, with cold temperatures expected to continue until later in the week.

“A deep low pressure system brought rain, strong winds and snow to a number of areas across the country during the weekend,” explained MetService Meteorologist Ciaran Doolin. “Yesterday the far south bore the brunt of the wind and rain, with snow falling in elevated areas. The Remarkables recorded 25cm of snow which is great news ahead of the ski season! The wind and rain are expected to ease in the south today. However, a further 20 cm of snow is forecast to accumulate above 800 metres in northern Otago until tonight,” Doolin went on to say.

On Tuesday a front approaches from the Tasman Sea and will sweep across central and northern New Zealand bringing strong winds, rain and possible thunderstorms to western areas.

On Wednesday and Thursday, a showery southwest flow persists across much of the country. Heavy southwest swells are expected on the west coast of the North Island, peaking at 5 metres for a time on Wednesday.

“On Friday, a deep low pressure system approaches from the Tasman Sea and is set to cross central New Zealand on Saturday.  This is likely to be a significant event bringing strong to gale force winds and a period of heavy rain to the North Island and upper South Island, as well as snow to the hills and ranges of the South Island,” Doolin said.  With severe weather likely during this event, keep up to date with MetService’s Severe Weather Outlook in the coming days at:

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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