Severe weather to hit during quake clean-up

November 14, 2016

Severe weather is expected to hit New Zealand later today, including a number of areas affected by this morning’s earthquakes.  Severe weather warnings have been issued for strong winds and heavy rain developing this evening in central New Zealand, with gusts up to 140km/h expected in exposed places.

An active weather system is approaching the lower South Island, with a wedge of warm air from the tropics bringing heavy rain with it. Rain is expected to be heaviest in northwest Nelson, Buller and Westland, and also in the ranges of Marlborough Sounds, Taranaki, Tararua Ranges and the headwaters from Whanganui to Ruapehu.  Localised downpours are possible, with a high risk of thunderstorms on the West Coast of the South Island this evening until early Tuesday morning.  Areas in the east, including Kaikoura, will miss the worst of this rain although scattered falls are likely there overnight before clearing in the morning.

Northerly winds will pick up this afternoon ahead of tonight’s system, reaching severe gale in Cook Strait this evening.  The strong northerlies will affect areas from Whanganui and Manawatu to Kaikoura, although the strongest gusts will be closer to the Strait, including Wellington where the quake clean-up is underway.  Winds should peak in the Kaikoura area tonight before easing into Tuesday morning, although the week ahead will often be windy.


A map of current severe weather warnings and watches issued for New Zealand

With a full moon tonight, tides will be high and flooding is possible, especially in the Nelson area around tonight’s high tide at 10.30pm which coincides with strong onshore winds and heavy rain. Areas on the Kapiti Coast and northern parts of the South Island’s West Coast should also beware of high wind waves during the high tide.  Heavy rain could also lead to localised flooding tonight in those areas of the upper South Island that are under severe warnings and watches for rain.

The rest of the week is marked by troughs from the Tasman bringing strong winds and rain, especially in the west, although the wet week should ease up by Friday.

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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