Southerly winds for Wellington Anniversary Weekend

Here’s the latest Press Release from MetService:

The MetService weather forecast for Wellington’s long weekend is for more of the same, with periods of southerly wind and passing showers.

“The last dry weekend in Wellington was in mid-November last year”, commented MetService Weather Ambassador, Bob McDavitt. “So it is no great surprise that showery southerlies are likely again during the coming Anniversary weekend”.

Mr. McDavitt added that the showers and southerly winds are not expected to be as intense as last weekend, and should not require any weather warnings. “There is a complex trough affecting the North Island for the next few days, and it seems set to deliver one period of southerlies to the region on Friday lasting through Saturday, and another late on Sunday or early on Monday”.

“Wellington’s anniversary holiday is celebrated on Monday by people living in a large part of the south half of the North Island. If you are in this area and looking for some sunny mild weather with light winds this weekend to plan an anniversary BBQ or have some outdoor fun then your best bet is Sunday during the day”.

Issued 01:58pm 21-Jan-2010


And my take on it:


Strange looking weather map

If you’ve looked at this weekend’s forecast weather map you might notice something strange. Something we haven’t seen for quite some time – over a month in fact. Here’s a sneak peek at the situation for noon Saturday,

Yes folks, do not be alarmed, that “H” with a big number next to it is a good thing! Finally, we have an anticyclone crossing the country. So noteworthy is this event, that MetService have issued a press release


MetService forecasters expect the last few days of August to bring generally dry weather as an anticyclone moves across the South Island.

“This is the first anticyclone to visit New Zealand since mid-July’, said MetService Weather Ambassador, Bob McDavitt. “It will bring light winds to much of the country and several dry days to the east of the South Island and southern parts of the North Island, where they are most needed”.

The anticyclone is not 100% dry. As pressures rise over the South Island on Friday, a southwesterly wind change is likely to bring a brief period of showers to eastern districts. Over the weekend, easterly winds may bring cloud and showers to Coromandel and Northland, and drizzle is likely for parts of the West Coast of the South Island.

“It’ll should be a good weekend for skiing”, added Mr. McDavitt.

So, stock up the sun cream, get the kids pumped for sport and pack the picnic basket! Enjoy it while it lasts.

Sadly, I’m working all weekend… weather forecasting! Bugger.

Now that’s a weather warning!

They don’t come much bigger than this…

Issued by MetService at 08:29pm 29-Jul-2008

MAJOR STORM MOVING TOWARDS NORTH ISLAND WILL BRING ADVERSE WEATHER TO MUCH OF THE COUNTRY A deepening low northwest of the North Island should lie west of Taranaki by midnight Wednesday and cross central New Zealand during Thursday.Further rain is expected over Northland with heavy falls overnight as an active front moves southwards, then easing in the morning. The front will move over Auckland early morning then onto the centre of the North Island later in the morning, bringing heavy rain to Coromandel Peninsula,Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Hawkes Bay and Wairarapa. Heavy rain will also spread into parts of Marlborough, Nelson and Canterbury in the afternoon.

Gale force winds are expected in exposed areas, and easterly winds are likely to reach severe gale in areas west of the main ranges from Waikato down to Westland. The easterly gales are also expected to bring heavy swells and high seas to eastern coasts of both islands.

People in these areas are advised to watch out for quickly rising streams and rivers and surface flooding. Also, high winds may cause damage to trees and roofs and flying debris may be a hazard in some places.





NORTHLAND Rain is expected to become heavy again tonight. In the 12 hours from 6pm Tuesday to 6am Wednesday, another 50 to 70mm is possible in some places, especially about the eastern hills. Heaviest falls are likely to be from about 10pm to early morning when intensities could reach 10 to 25mm per hour with a few embedded thunderstorms. The rain should ease north of Bay of Islands by about 3am and farther south by about 6am.Strong northwesterlies and scattered showers will follow for the rest of tomorrow.

AUCKLAND Rain should become heavier overnight. In the 6 to 8 hours from midnight Tuesday around 70mm is possible in some places, especially about the hills of northern and eastern Auckland. In many other places 30 to 50mm is likely. Peak intensities 15 to 20mm per hour a little before dawn.

COROMANDEL PENINSULA AND BAY OF PLENTY WEST OF KAWERAU Rain heavy at times. Between 6pm Tuesday and 9am Wednesday expect 120 to 160mm in the ranges and 70mm possible down to the coast. Peak intensities around 25mm per hour in embedded thunderstorms in the morning.

BAY OF PLENTY RANGES EAST OF KAWERAU Rain becoming heavy Wednesday morning. In the 6 to 9 hours from 6am Wednesday,70 to 90mm possible with peak intensities 15 to 20mm per hour.

RANGES OF GISBORNE NORTH OF GISBORNE CITY Rain should become heavy Wednesday morning. In the 12 hours from midnight Tuesday to midday Wednesday expect 100 to 120mm in the ranges. Intensities could reach 15 to 20mm per hour in embedded thunderstorms.

GISBORNE RANGES SOUTH OF GISBORNE CITY and HAWKES BAY RANGES NORTH OF WAIPUKURAU In the 12 hours from 3am to 3pm Wednesday, 80 to 100mm possible in the ranges, with heaviest falls of 10 to 20mm around late Wednesday morning.

HAWKES BAY RANGES SOUTH OF WAIPUKURAU AND RANGES OF WAIRARAPA Rain should develop overnight and become heavy tomorrow morning. In the 9 hours from 6am to 3pm Wednesday 70mm is possible.

KAIKOURA RANGES Rain is expected to become heavy overnight. In the 24 hours from 3am Wednesday to 3am Thursday expect 120 to 150 mm.

RICHMOND RANGES Rain is expected to become heavy overnight. In the 24 hours from 3am Wednesday to 3am Thursday expect 100 to 120 mm.

RANGES OF NORTHWEST NELSON Rain is expected to become heavy Wednesday morning. In the 24 hours from midnight tonight until midnight Wednesday expect 120 to 150mm possible in the ranges.

CANTERBURY Rain is expected to become heavy Wednesday afternoon. In the 24 hours from 3pm Wednesday to 3pm Thursday expect 100 to 140mm in the foothills and 40 to 60mm over the plains. Snow is expected to develop above 500 metres and 40 to 50cm may accumulate above 800 metres,deeper in drifts. However, the snow level is expected to rise later on Thursday as warmer air spreads south.

FREEZING LEVEL SOUTH ISLAND: 1100 metres rising to 2000 metres Thursday.



FORECAST:WAIKATO WAITOMO TAUMARUNUI TAUPO Easterly gales are expected to develop in the morning. In the 9 hours from midnight to 9am Wednesday severe gales with gusts of 130 km/h are possible in exposed places.

TARANAKI TAIHAPE WANGANUI MANAWATU NELSON MARLBOROUGH Easterly gales are expected to develop early Wednesday. In the 15 hours from 3am to 6pm Wednesday severe gales with gusts of 120 to 150km/h are possible in exposed places.

BULLER WESTLAND Easterly gales are expected to develop Wednesday morning. In the 15 hours from 6am to 9pm Wednesday severe gales with gusts of 120 to 150km/h are possible in exposed places.


Forecast prepared by: Bob Lake

For further information after 9pm contact Duty Forecaster Gerard Barrow A service provided through a contract with the Crown

Yes, that warning covers all NZ regions with the exception of Wellington, Otago, Southland and Fiordland!

As highlighted in the warning headline, this is shaping up to be a major storm. For the latest official warnings, forecasts and observations, visit where you’ll find the following pages, (and much more!)

Warning Map with multiple links for detailed info
Severe Weather Warning Text
Road Snowfall Warnings
Thunderstorm Outlook
MSL Analysis Maps
Satellite Imagery
Radar Imagery

Hello Winter!

You know winter has gripped the country when the MetService Warning Map look like this,

That was the warning status at midday today (Saturday 5 July), and if you could see the original animated map, you’d note that most of those little snow icons in the east of both islands were flashing between snow and strong winds. Needless to say the current Severe Weather Warning is extensive and covers many regions of the country.

There has already been significant snow falls in the lower South Island and as I type this early afternoon, snow is spreading up through Canterbury and is now falling in Christchurch (thanks for the report Nic!). Even here in Wellington we had some sleet and light snow showers on the hills earlier today – a stark contrast to the now clear skies. Don’t be fooled by the current lull in the capital though, the real nasty weather should arrive this evening – just in time for kickoff at the stadium…

For the latest official warnings, forecasts and observations, hit the MetService website.

MetService Warning Map (shown above), also;
Severe Weather Warning and Road Snowfall Warnings
Transit NZ highway info
AA Roadwatch* …but see below…

Wrap up warm – this outbreak is a cold one!


UPDATE – Sun 6 July – Looks like I won’t be recommending the “AA Roadwatch” website anymore… When icy conditions and widespread snow affect many roads the last thing you want to see on a public road info page is,

As a result of the current conditions we are experiencing high demand for this service.

Followed by a blank page where road info should be!

A big thumbs down to the AA – this coming from a dedicated member for 17 years. If you can’t keep your website up and running when the public need it most, you might as well pull the plug.  Shame on you AA.

10 Years at MetService

Today clocks up a personal milestone – ten years working at MetService. And yes, I still enjoy it – from the people I work with to the daily challenges that weather forecasting brings.

Now for a shameless plug – if you want forecasts, current warnings or recent weather observations head to And if you want other NZ focused weather info, including links to privately run weather stations and webcams, computer model forecasts, satellite imagery and much more, visit my weather pages at

Finally, a quick quote for ya,

In Scotland, there is no such thing as bad weather – only the wrong clothes.” – Billy Connolly.

MetService Webcam

For those of you curious about the current weather in Wellington (and the view from my workplace), MetService now provide a live webcam with current temperature and wind conditions,

The webcam pans left and right between north and south, through east, with imagery streaming live via a windows media video feed. (Before viewing the video stream you may be asked to install a plugin or codec for your browser.) The temperature and wind data come from a weather station at MetService in Kelburn.

This is a nice (albeit long overdue!) addition to the website. Check it out via the Wellington weather page, or directly via this link.

For lots more weather stations and webcams around the country, visit my weather links pages at