The weather focus for the week ahead

April 7, 2017

After this week’s deluge over many parts of the country, severe weather is on many people’s minds more than usual. With stories already circulating about more heavy rain and a tropical cyclone, MetService is keen to reassure New Zealanders about the weather ahead – and where to find reliable information.

This weekend is looking good across most of the country with plenty of blue skies; however, some places may feel somewhat chilly overnight and the air gets that Autumnal bite. Although next week starts with plenty of sunshine, an approaching Low will bring cloud and rain. This Low should reach the South Island from the Tasman Sea on Wednesday, while its associated front will be preceded by a band of rain in western areas.

“At this stage global weather models are uncertain about just where the cloud and rain will be, which is not uncommon this far out,” commented MetService meteorologist Lisa Murray.

Because of the uncertainty, there is currently low confidence of rainfall reaching warning criteria in some parts of the north and west of both islands from Wednesday. As the event approaches, affected areas and timings will be refined and updated daily in our Severe Weather Outlook.

“This is certainly a system worth keeping tabs on, as it is coming on the heels of this week’s widespread heavy rain and flooding,” Murray commented. “Our expert meteorologist team are monitoring it closely and will keep you up to date through official watches and warnings at are the same people who work closely with Civil Defence and Emergency Management teams to prepare for the impacts of severe weather.

Turning to the tropics, Tropical Depression TD20F is sitting northwest of Fiji and looks favourable to intensify at the end of the weekend.

“While there is a chance this Low could develop into a tropical cyclone from Sunday evening near Vanuatu, the direction it takes after that is very uncertain. It is way too early to make an accurate forecast of its future track and impacts,” said Murray.

As well as being New Zealand’s only official weather forecasting and warning service, MetService is also the country’s official Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre (TCWC). “All official advisories and bulletins about Tropical Cyclones that could affect New Zealand originate from MetService,” added Murray.

Our tropical specialist meteorologists monitor the tropics 24/7 and provide daily briefings to the NZ Government and to South Pacific nations about the potential for tropical cyclone development, and you can read these on our website at

Low off east coast of Australia moves west towards New Zealand and is expected to bring rain to some places Wednesday. Meanwhile, a tropical depression to the north could intensify from Sunday near Vanuatu. 

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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