January 4, 2017

A cold southerly blast spreads up the country today, bringing a few thunderstorms and even hail to some areas in the east of the country.

The cold change is expected to continue up the Kaikoura coast this afternoon, and the rest of the North Island this evening. “Queenstown has already seen some small hail earlier today,” said MetService forecaster Tuporo Marsters. “You should see the temperatures drop by 4 to 6 degrees in places as the southerly winds push up the country,” he added.

Thursday is looking a lot better, as a high over the Tasman Sea pushes onto New Zealand easing winds across the country, but it will be a cold start for inland places as temperatures drop to single digits. Any remaining showers should clear during Thursday morning, with a brighter outlook for the rest of the day. Watch out for big swells along the east coast of both Islands, with swells of up to 5 metres peaking on the Wellington-Wairarapa coast late morning then spreading to the Mahia and Gisborne coasts by early evening.

The high extends a weak ridge onto the top of the North Island on Friday, while a cold front and another round of cold southerlies blasts the far south. “We’re stuck with this southwest flow through to the weekend as the high in the Tasman refuses to budge,” said Mr. Marsters “This means that many places will see some  fine weather, but temperatures will remain on the cooler side for this time of year.”


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