The end of the school holidays, but not the end of the wild weather

October 6, 2016

As the school holidays draw to a close, the wild spring weather is showing no sign of easing.  Spring weather is characterised by strong westerly winds and fast moving fronts racing across New Zealand, bringing short, sharp bursts of showers peppered with thunderstorms.  Despite a slow start, this spring has now found its stride.

Today an active front has brought heavy showers and one or two thunderstorms to the North Island. Further thunderstorms are forecast for this evening, when some could be severe and a thunderstorm watch has been issued for areas from Northland down to Taranaki.  “These thunderstorms have the potential to cause damage, as they could be packing strong gusts of 110km/hr or more”, said meteorologist Tom Adams, “This combined with the saturated ground in the north could topple a few trees and damage power lines and also make for hazardous driving conditions”. 

The thunderstorms gradually ease on Friday, although there could be a few rumbles in the upper North Island until evening. Heavy rain in the west of the North Island will finally clear in the evening, although there will be some long fine spells in the east and in the South Island.  The next front is not far away however, knocking on Fiordland around midnight Friday.  The sequence of fast-paced fronts continues through the weekend, with rain for the South Island on Saturday, and a sunny-but-windy morning in the North before showers return in the west in the afternoon. Sunday switches the balance, with clear skies over the South Island but rain moving up the North. Further into next week Monday looks like a brief break in the barrage of fronts before another one arrives on Tuesday.

Six day model rainfall accumulations at a glance.  Note that some of this rain will fall at night.

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