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Cool Southwest Flow Followed By A Low

Cold southwest winds are forecast to bring showery weather to much of New Zealand through to Saturday, with MetService expecting snow down to 200 metres across southern New Zealand at times. Meanwhile, trouble is brewing over the Tasman Sea in the form of a low-pressure system, which has Northland in its sights by the end of the weekend.

A disturbed southwest flow brings cool, showery weather to much of New Zealand through to the end of the weekend.

MetService meteorologist Peter Little comments, “Changeable weather is expected for much of the country on Thursday, Friday and Saturday as weak fronts embedded in a southwest flow sweep northward. These fronts bring periods of colder air and heavier showers, which will at times push the snow level down to 200 metres over southern New Zealand. Folk travelling during the first weekend of the School Holidays are advised that Road Snowfall Warnings have been issued for some of the South Island passes.”

Southwest gales are also likely about coastal parts of Southland and Otago on Friday and Saturday, and a Severe Weather Watch for a period when these gales may become severe has been issued. Strong southwest winds over the Southern Ocean will also drive large waves onto exposed beaches.

Little says, “Long period swells of 4 to 5 metres are likely for much of the East Coast of New Zealand from Southland to Gisborne, and while these waves are not as large as what were experienced in Wellington two weeks ago, they have the potential to cause coastal erosion and make conditions near the shore dangerous.”

In places sheltered from the prevailing southwest winds there should be plenty of sunshine during the day, but clear skies and light winds will lead to frosty conditions overnight.

The southwest flow eases on Sunday, but a deepening low is expected to approach northern New Zealand from the north Tasman Sea, bringing strong easterlies and rain to Northland.

“MetService meteorologists are monitoring computer forecasting models as to the track and intensity of this low, which has the potential to bring severe weather to parts of northern New Zealand early next week,” adds Little.

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