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Source: MetService
6/03/2023 – Covering period of Monday 6 – Friday 10 March – A front preceded by warm north to northwest winds and followed by cooler south to southwesterlies moves over the country from Wednesday to Friday.  MetService is forecasting heavy rain for the west of the South Island on Wednesday and Thursday, while eastern areas should receive just a scattering of rain along with warm northwesterlies.

MetService Meteorologist Peter Little says, “A Heavy Rain Warning (orange)has been issued for a period of heavy rain starting in Fiordland on Tuesday night and in Westland on Wednesday morning.  Up to 250 mm of rain is currently forecast for the ranges of Westland south of Otira, which could lead to surface flooding and slips.  North to northwest gales are also expected in exposed places ahead of the front.  People are advised to keep up to date with forecasts as more regions may be added to the warning.”

The northwest winds ahead of the front will cause temperatures to rise in the east of the country.

Little comments, “Invercargill is heading for a maximum of 27°C on Wednesday, which is 9°C above average for this time of year, while Christchurch and Gisborne are forecast to reach 27°C on Thursday.”

The front weakens as it moves over the North Island on Friday, although western regions can still expect a period of moderate rain.  As was the case over the South Island, eastern areas will receive less rain due to the sheltering by the ranges.

A change to cooler south to southwest winds behind the front ushers in a few showers to most places, and sees daytime temperatures return to the high teens or early twenties across New Zealand.  A ridge of high pressure over the Tasman Sea approaches the country by the end of the week, helping to clear the showers and ease the winds in time for the weekend.

Understanding our Severe Weather Watches and Warnings

Outlooks are about looking ahead:

To provide advanced information on possible future Watches and/or Warnings
Issued routinely once or twice a day
Recommendation: Plan

Watches are about being alert:

When severe weather is possible, but not sufficiently imminent or certain for a warning to be issued
Typically issued 1 – 3 days in advance of potential severe weather.
During a Watch: Stay alert

Orange Warnings are about taking action:

When severe weather is imminent or is occurring
Typically issued 1 – 3 days in advance of potential severe weather
In the event of an Orange Warning: Take action

Red Warnings are about taking immediate action:

When extremely severe weather is imminent or is occurring
Issued when an event is expected to be among the worst that we get – it will have significant impact and it is possible that a lot of people will be affected
In the event of a Red Warning: Act now!