Windy westerlies this weekend

November 24, 2016

A front moves across New Zealand tomorrow, bringing rain to the western areas, followed by strong winds that will be a feature of the weather into the weekend.

Rain will be heavy in the west of the South Island on Friday and through the weekend, and Watches and Warnings are in force, while just scattered falls will make it across to eastern areas. Strong northerlies could reach gale force through Cook Strait on Friday morning, before winds turn westerly behind the front and pick up again from Friday night.

From early Saturday, strong westerlies will be a factor affecting outdoor activities like the Lake Taupo Challenge and Dragon Boating in the Wairarapa. Saturday is looking warm for eastern areas of the North Island, though not as hot as Wednesday’s record breaking 33.4C in Napier. Napier will climb to 27C and the east coast of the South Island should see highs in the twenties.

What’s causing these strong winds? “The strong westerly flow is being caused by a deep low – currently over the south Tasman Sea – as it dips down below the South Island on Friday night,” explains MetService spokesperson Tuporo Marsters. “As the low passes the country it squeezes the isobars together over New Zealand, causing the westerly winds to pick up.”

A cold southwest change then works its way up the country from late Saturday, and temperatures will take a dip in the South Island on Sunday.

“Temperatures are getting as low as 6 degrees in Invercargill on Sunday, with a forecast high of 11,” said Marsters. “We could also see some snow on those South Island mountains from Fiordland and up through Canterbury.”


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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