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Source: MetService
Covering period of Thursday 7 – Monday 11 March – After the windy and wild start to the week, high pressure rebuilds across Aotearoa New Zealand in time for the weekend, bringing generally settled and dry weather for much of the country.

This afternoon, a front moves northwards up the South Island bringing a brief period of heavy rain to Fiordland as the front passes through. The front weakens as it moves northwards, spreading rain up the rest of the west coast.

After the cooler temperatures at the start of the week, northwesterly winds over the South Island and lower North Island will give a boost to the daytime temperatures today. Ashburton and Timaru both have a forecast high of 27°C, with Christchurch close behind at 26°C. A cold southerly change arriving overnight will bring some cooler temperatures for Friday and Saturday.

The weakening front moves northwards to the North Island on Friday, introducing some cloudier skies at times and the odd shower, but there will still be plenty of fine weather about. “What’s left of this next feature will really weaken away as it crosses Cook Strait,” says MetService meteorologist John Law, “and while there will be the odd shower for places like the ranges of Hawke’s Bay, many parts of New Zealand will see a dry end to the week.”

Clear skies and dry weather are in store for most of the country this coming weekend as high pressure takes hold. Temperatures hike up to the late twenties in Canterbury on Sunday as northwesterly winds strengthen ahead of another front.

Taranaki will be taking full advantage of the settled weather with a long weekend to celebrate their anniversary day on Monday. “Saturday looks to be the best day of the weekend for Taranaki, with some cloudier skies set to return for Sunday and Monday,” said Law.

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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.