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Powerful Weather To Start Off 2006

Issued by MetService at 12:22pm 31-Dec-2005

POWERFUL WEATHER TO START OFF 2006

MetService meteorologists warn that a low pressure system is likely to deepen quickly in the Tasman Sea on New Year's Day and then move over southern New Zealand early on Monday morning, as its associated fronts cross the North Island.

"Stormy conditions are going to visit many parts of the country in the first few days of 2006", commented MetService Weather Ambassador, Bob McDavitt.

Vigorous northwesterly quarter winds will start arriving in exposed places from Auckland to Otago during Sunday evening and continue to blow through Monday and Tuesday. Damaging winds are most likely in the east of the South Island on Monday morning and further north in Wellington, Wairarapa and Hawke's Bay in the afternoon and evening. The winds will also whip up the seas on the west coast of both Islands, with swells possibly reaching 5 metres in some areas.

Rain will become torrential rain in Fiordland, Westland and on the Southern Alps late Sunday and ease from the south on Monday afternoon. There may also be significant spillover into the headwaters of Canterbury and Otago's lakes and rivers. As the rain moves north on Monday, heavy falls are also likely in Buller, Northwest Nelson, about the Tararua Ranges and Mount Taranaki.

"The weather doesn't completely relax after this low moves away on Tuesday", said McDavitt. "Another low is forecast to be approaching the far south on Wednesday and it may well bring a further period of heavy rain to the west of the South Island and strong winds to the south of the North Island.

"So, over the first few days of the New Year, people involved in outdoor activities or those travelling around the country should brace for stormy weather and keep up to date with the latest forecasts and warnings."

ENDS


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