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Summer heat followed by stormy weather this week

A ridge of high pressure remains over New Zealand today. However, as the ridge starts to move off on Thursday, a front from the south and the remains of recently-named Tropical Cyclone Fehi, tracking from the Coral Sea, will have a significant impact on New Zealand weather.

The first half of this week is expected to be hot and mainly fine, with isolated thunderstorms. MetService Meteorologist Kyle Lee explained, “Because the high remains sitting over the country, the extreme temperatures experienced this month will continue during the first half of this week.”

Places which officially have been in heatwave conditions - such as Wanaka, Queenstown and Alexandra - will continue to be New Zealand’s hot spots today and tomorrow. Temperatures are forecast to reach up to 35C for Alexandra and 34C for Wanaka on Monday and Tuesday.

Lee added, “There is a good chance that stations in the Central Otago and Canterbury areas might record temperatures even higher than this, so be prepared for sweltering conditions. On Tuesday, all of the main centres across the South Island could reach above 30C, with the exception of a few coastal towns.”

On Thursday, the weather will turn dramatically as the front from the south and the remains of Cyclone Fehi come together to cross the South Island, bringing heavy rain and gale-force winds across most of southern and central New Zealand. Associated Severe Weather Watches and Warnings are likely to be issued by MetService from Tuesday.

Mr Lee said, “The arrival of this severe weather will coincide with king tides around the country, which could also cause storm surges on the west coast of the South Island. As the low crosses the South Island during Thursday, we’re expecting gale-force winds and heavy rain for most of the South Island, including drought-stricken Southland.”

For the North Island, a front associated with the low pressure is expected to bring heavy rain and gale-force winds across the western and central areas of the island as well.

“The good news is that, at this stage, weather models expect the system to give way to mainly settled weather for the start of the Waitangi Day long weekend,” commented Lee. “There’ll be a notable difference in temperatures, particularly in the South Island, thanks to a southerly change following the low pressure system. For example, a maximum of just 14C is expected for Alexandra on Friday, which is big difference to the 35C expected today.”

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

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 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

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