Some welcome rain and a glimpse of summer for Wellington Anniversary

January 19, 2017

The South Island and lower North Island saw plenty of severe weather through yesterday and into this morning, as forecast.

The deep “bomb low” brought heavy rain and thunderstorms to the west of the South Island, with over 300mm recorded at Arthurs Pass with this event and flooding and slips affecting many roads in Westland and Buller. Strong winds also eventuated, gusting to over 150 km/hr around exposed parts of Wellington and causing the closure of the Rimutaka Road for a time between the capital and Wairarapa.


Weather impacts around the country 18-19 January 2017

Looking towards the weekend, a quick-moving ridge moves in on Friday and brings a more settled spell of weather into Saturday. However, another low deepens over the Tasman Sea later on Saturday, then crosses the South Island on Sunday. Although this new low is not expected to bring as much rain to the West Coast, the rainfall amounts (which may reach warning criteria of 100mm in 24 hours) could cause some problems for already saturated areas and swollen rivers.

“Central New Zealand will get strong northerly winds for a time on Sunday, but these won’t be as strong as experienced during the last event,” said MetService forecaster Cam Coutts.

“However, Nelson could see more rainfall this time round, along with Otago and surrounding areas. There is some concern about surface flooding for the Dunedin area which may get some heavy downpours and strong onshore winds,” said Mr Coutts.

As always, MetService advises people to keep up to date with the latest weather forecasts and local Civil Defence information.

Further north, many places are still looking for rain but only get a few showers as the front weakens while moving north. MetService and the New Zealand Transport Agency are joining forces to warn those travelling about ‘summer ice’ – slippery roads caused by a light shower on previously dry roads where dust, dirt and oil has built up. For more information on summer ice, visit the Transport Agency website:

To end on some good news: as this low is fast moving, the weather is looking promising for the Pasifika Festival on Wellington Anniversary Monday.

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

%d bloggers like this: