Archive for March, 2017

A respite before northerlies and rain return

March 30, 2017

The fog may have lifted and the heavy rain eased, but moist northerlies are poised to return by early next week after a ridge of high pressure brings a period of settled weather to our shores.

On Wednesday, heavy rain washed out the final day of the cricket test in Hamilton and caused localised flash flooding in parts of Auckland. Further south, fog delayed flights in and out of Wellington, affecting thousands of travellers. MetService Meteorologist Peter Little commented, “An area of low pressure responsible for the heavy rain also pushed moist air down the east coast of the North Island, which turned to fog as it moved over the relatively cooler seas around Wellington.”

As the low moves away to the east it is replaced by a ridge of high pressure, which ensures that most places have a sunny end to the week. “However, the air over the country remains humid, meaning further muggy nights in the north, and areas of low cloud and fog morning and night,” added Little.

As we head into the final weekend of daylight saving there is a mixture of fine and wet weather on the horizon. A front from the South Tasman Sea approaches the South Island on Saturday, bringing rain to Fiordland and South Westland. As the front moves up the South Island on Sunday the rain spreads further north, and scattered falls are expected east of the Alps.

For the North Island, aside from some morning cloud in northern and western areas, predominantly fine weather is forecast on Saturday. This will please those competing in the IronMaori multi-sport event in Auckland, along with their supporters. The weather remains fine in the east of the North Island on Sunday, but increasing moisture elsewhere brings mostly cloudy skies with patchy rain or drizzle.

Forecast mean sea level pressure and fronts from Weatherscape 

Early next week, tropical moisture associated with former Cyclone Debbie is expected to be drawn down over northern and central New Zealand. Little went on to say, “Although Debbie is no longer a Tropical Cyclone, and is not expected to cross the Tasman, warm and moist tropical air will likely spread onto New Zealand ahead of a frontal system early next week. This injection of extra moisture will increase the potential for heavy rain and localised downpours over parts of central and northern New Zealand, which are still sodden from recent heavy rain. People in these areas are advised to keep up to date with forecasts, and view the Severe Weather Outlook which can be found on our warnings home page”

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