A weather tantrum to end the school holidays

July 21, 2016

The good weather New Zealand has enjoyed for the end of the week takes a stormy turn as we move into the weekend.  MetService has issued weather watches for heavy rain and gales this Saturday, with weather warnings expected on Friday morning.  “The weekend weather will lead to dangerous conditions on the roads”, said meteorologist Tom Adams, “and motorists heading home from holidays are strongly urged to check the forecasts and plan ahead – even if that means coming back earlier or later than planned.”

 

This week the country has already seen damage caused by strong winds, with trees uprooted and chimneys toppled in the Waikato on Tuesday night. The weekend is expected to bring stronger gusts to many regions, with the current clutch of watches putting most of the North Island at risk of strong northwesterlies Saturday night, and upper South Island earlier in the day. Gusts could reach 120kph in exposed places, and possibly as much as 150kph about the Wellington hills. The strongest winds will hit the Kapiti Coast Saturday night around high tide, increasing the chance of inundation on coastal roads. Heavy rain is also expected, especially in the west and in the ranges, with warning rainfall amounts of 100mm in 24 hours likely to be met in the western South Island and the Canterbury and Otago headwaters on Saturday. 

 

The cause of the wild weather is a very strong northwest flow over NZ between a departing high northeast of the country and a deep low over the Southern Ocean. This northwest flow brings warm topical air across the Tasman resulting in warm temperatures, heavy rain and strong winds.  Behind this front, colder air surges up from the south crossing the South Island on Saturday and reaching Wellington in the early hours of Sunday.  This colder air is expected to bring another dusting of snow to the southern ski fields which is welcome news, but may also affect some higher roads and alpine passes.

 
Keep up to date with the latest forecasts and any watches/warnings at metservice.com or on mobile devices at m.metservice.com. You can also follow our updates on MetService TV, at MetService New Zealand on Facebook, @metservice and @MetServiceWARN on Twitter and at blog.metservice.com

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 metservice.com or on mobile devices at m.metservice.com. You can also follow our updates on MetService TV, at MetService New Zealand on Facebook, @metservice and @MetServiceWARN on Twitter and at blog.metservice.com

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