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A Wetter Week Ahead

Covering period of Monday 15 - Friday 19 January

The hot and sunny start to 2024 is put on pause early this week, with MetService forecasting heavy rain and possible downpours over parts of the North Island, while the South Island experiences a cool change from the high temperatures last week.

A Heavy Rain Warning was issued this morning (Monday) for central western areas of the North Island. Additionally, a Severe Thunderstorm Watch was issued for the northeast of the North Island from the Coromandel Peninsula through Rotorua to the eastern ranges of Bay of Plenty, and a Heavy Rain Watch for those eastern ranges until tomorrow morning (Tuesday).

MetService Meteorologist Clare O’Connor says: “While the first two weeks for 2024 were overall quite dry for the North Island, we are seeing a wet week ahead. The Severe Thunderstorm Watch for the upper North Island today in particular could see downpours of 25-40mm/h within the watch area, so residents should be prepared for heavy falls later today.”

Down south, there has been a sharp change from the weather of last week, in particular the temperature: Invercargill’s forecast maximum temperature today (Monday) is a mere 14°C.

Summer will return though; Tuesday heralds a sunny day for the South Island and most of the North Island as a ridge takes hold of the situation again, pushing the rain northwards. These conditions continue on Wednesday, but by Thursday the rain returns – this time for central Aotearoa/New Zealand.

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“What’s left of the band of rain from Monday makes its way over to the west of Aotearoa, bringing more rain to western South Island areas north of about Hokitika, but Wellington and the Kapiti Coast should plan for wet weather in the second half of the week also.” O’Connor notes.

The final act of the wet week arrives on Friday: a low pressure system forming in the Tasman Sea drags warm, moist air over the South Island. MetService’s Severe Weather Outlook is indicating a high confidence of heavy falls of rain along the South Island’s West Coast, and Severe Weather Watches and Warnings may follow in the lead up to the arrival of this system.

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