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Wind, Rain And Snow Ahead

After a weekend of settled weather, this week gets off to an active start as a deep low pressure system and its fronts move across Aotearoa New Zealand today (Monday) and tomorrow (Tuesday). MetService is forecasting heavy rain and strong winds for many parts of the country, as well as heavy snowfalls for parts of the South Island.

The fronts make their way up the South Island today, delivering heavy rainfall for the western parts, where Heavy Rain Watches and Warnings are in place.

MetService meteorologist Mmathapelo Makgabutlane discusses: “The bulk of that rain will be for the western South Island today, extending to elevated parts of the North Island tomorrow.”

Widespread strong winds will also be a feature over the coming days, as northwesterly winds pick up ahead of the fronts today, and blustery southwesters make themselves known tomorrow. “Interestingly, strong winds will be a common theme for our three main cities overnight tonight, as strong and gusty winds are expected for Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. This just illustrates the broad nature of these strong winds,” Makgabutlane comments.

A rush of cold air behind the fronts turns showers into snow for the lower and central South Island. Snowfalls could be heavy for parts of Otago and Canterbury today into tomorrow morning, and areas down to 400 metres will likely get some October snowfalls. “Motorists are advised to plan their journeys ahead as snowfalls may affect high level roads and passes,” Makgabutlane says.

That cold air brought in by strong southerlies means there will be a marked fall in daytime temperatures midweek, with most of the South Island reaching maximums in the low-teens and single digits. Christchurch only rises to 9°C on Wednesday, a pivot from the 23°C that was enjoyed last week.

There is brief relief on the horizon, with a ridge moving onto the country from Thursday. “The first half of the week doesn’t look great for those looking to get out and about for the school holidays, but the second half looks better,” Makgabutlane assures.

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