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Unsettled Weather For The Weekend

MetService is forecasting unsettled weather for much of New Zealand over the next few days, and into the weekend.

A low with an associated front makes its way across the country today (Thursday) and tomorrow, bringing rain and strong winds. There is a Severe Weather Watch in force for the northern Canterbury High Country, where rainfall could be heavy for a time tomorrow.

The front moves across the South Island this afternoon. MetService meteorologist Mmathapelo Makgabutlane elaborates: “The front starts with rain for the west, gradually spreading over the Southern Alps, reaching Canterbury, Marlborough and Nelson by evening,”. Wet weather continues for the east tomorrow, where, in addition to heavy rain, light dustings of snow are possible for parts of the northern High Country.

Winds will also pick up once the front has moved through. “The southerlies could get rather gusty tonight along the east coast of the South Island behind the front,” Makgabutlane cautioned. This surge of southerly air will lead to continued cold conditions, with tomorrow’s daytime temperatures not expected to go above 15°C for Canterbury and Otago.

The North Island sees the front early tomorrow, and rain gradually spreads across from the west. A strong push of southerlies gets into the lower North Island tomorrow night as the low continues northwards, with gales possible for Wellington.

By Saturday, the action is concentrated over the lower and eastern North Island, with hints that the parched region of Wairarapa may get some decent rainfall. However, Makgabutlane cautions that how much they get is highly dependent on the position of the low by then.

The rain moves back onto the eastern South Island by the end of the weekend as wind flow turns southeasterly. “If things stay the way they are, Christchurch will have another rainy evening on Sunday,” Makgabutlane remarked.

“As the country settles into lockdown in a cooperative effort to minimise the spread of COVID-19, those in Christchurch, Dunedin and Wellington will experience the ideal indoor weather – namely rainy, windy weather over the next few days, while people in Auckland and Hamilton might seize the opportunity for a socially distant walk this weekend,” Makgabutlane said.

MetService would like to assure the public that it is committed to keeping New Zealand safe and will continue the essential service it provides during this time through up-to-date weather forecasts and detailed severe weather updates.

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