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Fine(ish) and Frosty vs Warm, Wet, and Windy

MetService is forecasting a mixed bag of weather for the week to Thursday. With a ridge of high pressure over Te Ika-a-Maui / North Island gradually moving away to the east, the weather will remain mainly settled there until later on Thursday, with a few frosty starts. In the south, it’s a different story altogether.

A strong, moist northwesterly flow is maintained over Te Waipounamu / South Island for the rest of the week. A series of fronts approach from the southwest, but are slowed down by the ridge.

MetService meteorologist Alwyn Bakker explains, “The air under the ridge is denser than the air coming in with the fronts, so those fronts will really struggle to push the ridge out of their way.”

The first front is expected to make landfall on Wednesday, and stall over the lower South Island on Thursday but North Islanders can expect a breakdown of the settled conditions by week’s end.

A Strong Wind Watch has been issued for Fiordland south of Milford Sound, Southland west of Lumsden, and Stewart Island. Between 11:00pm tonight and 6:00am on Wednesday, northwesterly winds may approach severe gale in exposed places at times. Heavy Rain Watches have also been issued, one for Fiordland west of the lakes between 1:00am Tuesday and 11:00pm Wednesday, and one for the ranges of Westland south of Otira between 1:00am and 11:00pm on Tuesday. In both Watches, rainfall amounts may approach warning criteria within the period. “Additional Watches and Warnings may be issued as we progress through the week, or existing Watches could be upgraded, so keep up to date with,” Bakker advises.

It’s not all rain and wind, though. The east coast of the South Island can expect warm weather with their northwesterlies, with maximum temperatures of 18°C or 19°C for most until Thursday. Overnight minimums are also forecast to be on the warm side, keeping any frosts at bay for now.

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