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Source: MetService

Covering period of Thu 02 – Mon 06 November – MetService has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for Southland covering a risk between 3pm-11pm today (Thursday). This is related to a generally unsettled period of weather for the country as we move into the weekend, but there are some areas which will enjoy relaxed weather through Saturday and Sunday.  

MetService Meteorologist Lewis Ferris explains, “This Severe Thunderstorm Watch for Southland means that there is a risk of downpours of rain (amounts 25-40mm/hr) alongside hail. A Severe Thunderstorms Warning will be issued if a storm is detected on our radar network.”
The thunderstorms are related to a weather system out in the Tasman Sea which is going to meander across the country in the coming days. It looks to bring some rain and wind but nothing that would justify a Severe Weather Watch outside of the thunderstorm risk.
“The weather at your place is likely to be changeable from today and into the weekend but by keeping up with the latest forecasts you should be able to find a time to get outdoors without a raincoat,” says Ferris.

Friday brings a more organised band of rain that moves over the top two-thirds of the country with a number of regions at risk of seeing a few thunderstorms. After this rain, the regions saturated at the beginning of the week look to have a run of dry weather.

A cold front moves in from the south on Saturday, bringing some rain and cooler temperatures to areas south of Christchurch. The front continues to trudge up the South Island on Sunday and the beginning of the new working week might have some rain in store for central areas of New Zealand.

MetService’s brief outlook for the month of November:
This month presents a mix of slow-moving lows, followed by an extended dry and settled period, which gives way to unsettled westerlies in the south. Overall, forecasts hint at slightly drier than normal for most places, but these conditions might occur at different times of the month depending on the location.

For media enquiries or to arrange an interview with one of our meteorologists please call 04 4700 848 or email

Understanding MetService Severe Weather Warning System

Severe Thunderstorm Warnings (Localised Red Warning) – take cover now:

This warning is a red warning for a localised area.
When extremely severe weather is occurring or will do within the hour.
Severe thunderstorms have the ability to have significant impacts for an area indicated in the warning.
In the event of a Severe Thunderstorm Red Warning: Act now!

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!

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.

Thunderstorm Watch means thunderstorms are possible, be alert and consider action

Show the area that thunderstorms are most likely to occur during the validity period.
Although thunderstorms are often localised, the whole area is on watch as it is difficult to know exactly where the severe thunderstorm will occur within the mapped area.
During a thunderstorm Watch: Stay alert and take action if necessary.

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

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