Southerly outbreak brings severe weather mid week

July 9, 2017

It was a wet Saturday for many in the North Island as a low pressure system spread a front across the island. Heavy rain and thunderstorms affected several areas with 25.5 mm recorded in one hour near New Plymouth early yesterday afternoon and 18 mm recorded in one hour on Waiheke Island early this morning. The low moves across the North Island today, with scattered showers and the chance of a thunderstorm for the north and rain in the east. A Severe Weather Watch is in place from afternoon for westerly gales in exposed places in Northland and heavy rain in northern Hawke’s Bay and southern Gisborne.

The low moves off to the east overnight leaving a weak southwest flow over the country. A few showers persist. Meanwhile a cold front approaches the South Island and moves onto the far south at night.

“This front is expected to bring significant severe weather, affecting many parts of New Zealand from Tuesday to Wednesday, including heavy rain, snow and severe gales, and may cause disruption to transport and stress to livestock. It is also worth noting that for coastal areas exposed to a strong onshore flow, high waves and heavy rain could lead to inundation,” explained MetService Meteorologist Ciaran Doolin.

On Tuseday as the front moves up the South Island, followed by cold southerlies, snow is expected above 100-200 metres in the far south, but 300 metres in Canterbury.

Then on Wednesday a low deepens over the northeast of the North Island, possibly bringing severe gales, heavy rain and snow to some central New Zealand areas. Snow continues to fall to the aforementioned levels in the South Island on Wednesday.

“There is still a degree of uncertainty in the computer models regarding the mid-week severe weather event, so people are advised to keep up to date with the latest Severe Weather Outlook. It is highly likely that Severe Weather Watches or Warnings will be issued nearer to the event,” added Doolin.

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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