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Source: MetService

Covering period of Monday 13 – Thursday 16 November – The week ahead looks set to be dominated by various flavours of westerly winds across Aotearoa New Zealand. MetService is forecasting an assortment of weather, from wet in the west, warm in the north, with wind and a sprinkling of snow in the mix.

The week kicks off with a frontal system moving up the South Island today (Monday), bringing wet weather to the southern and western South Island, extending to the North Island on Tuesday. Windy conditions are also expected for the central South Island and lower North Island.

MetService meteorologist Mmathapelo Makgabutlane explains: “The heaviest of that rain is expected over Fiordland, Westland, and Buller, while the Canterbury High Country will cop the strongest of those winds. Severe Weather Warnings and Watches have been issued for these areas, going into Tuesday afternoon.”

Several fronts sweep across the South Island on Tuesday into early Wednesday, each with a brief wave of wet weather. Associated southwesterly winds also bring a dip in daytime temperatures on Wednesday.

“Dunedin is enjoying a maximum temperature of 22°C today, but by Wednesday that will only reach 16°C,” Makgabutlane says.

The top half of the country has a week of mild to warm temperatures ahead as warm air is drawn down from the north by northwesterly winds. Temperatures range from the upper-teens to the mid-20s for the North Island and the upper South Island.

“This will certainly give this week a spring-like feel, even more so for the lower North Island where those classic springtime strong westerlies make an appearance at various points this week,” Makgabutlane says.

More rain looks likely towards the end of the working week with a frontal weather system coming in from the west. This system could be trailed by cold air, which may bring a sprinkling of snow to elevated parts of the lower South Island.

Further afield, the Fiji Meteorological Service is likely to name the second Tropical Cyclone of the season later today. Currently forming east of the Solomon Islands, it looks to pass nearby Fiji in the coming days. Presently, there is no risk for Aotearoa New Zealand as the system looks to drift away southeastwards after it exits the tropical region later this week, weakening rapidly. Full details are available on the website of the Fiji Meteorological Service and MetService meteorologists will be keeping a close eye on developments.

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