Westerlies return to New Zealand

March 19, 2017

A familiar pattern will be driving the weather over New Zealand this week, as westerly winds become the mainstay for the next several days.

This week starts off on a good footing as a ridge of high pressure ensures most places, including all the main centres, have a sun-drenched finish to the weekend. “Sunday is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy the elements. Wellingtonians might be feeling like something’s missing – the wind hasn’t got above 10km/hr so far today.” Commented MetService Meteorologist Angus Hines.

On Monday, the high pressure shifts north and a succession of weak features cross over the South Island from the southwest. While the impact of these features will not be unusual, they will bring a period of rain to parts of the West Coast and a significant wind change, along with a few showers, to the east. “Those in the south can expect a bit of everything for Otago Anniversary celebrations on Monday,” said Mr. Hines, “plan for a nice start to the day before gusty northwesterlies kick in. To top it off, a few showers will get dragged into the area by a strong southwesterly later in the day.” A Severe Weather Watch is in place for southwest gales in the area on Monday evening.

The following few days will remain mostly fine over northern New Zealand, but a weak feature will bring an increase in cloudiness, along with some spits of rain, from Taranaki down to Westland. The east of the South Island will also see a few showers get dragged towards Christchurch and the Canterbury Plains.

Things are set to change towards the end of the week. A low pressure system rolls towards New Zealand from the west, potentially bringing more extensive and heavier rain. The timing and intensity of this low system are still uncertain, so be sure to check the most recent forecast when making travel or outdoor plans.

To get the most up to date information on severe weather around the country, or any other forecasts, see metservice.com or on mobile devices at m.metservice.com. You can also follow our updates on MetService TV, at MetService New Zealand on Facebook@metservice  and @MetServiceWARN on Twitter and at blog.metservice.com

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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