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The cool and windy week explained by MetService

Unusual cloud patterns yesterday. Photo: Courtesy of Rick Annie King Holden

The MetService had forecast a cold and windy start to the last week as a cold front crossed over the far south of the South Island.

The lingering southerly winds behind the front meant that for much of the working week New Zealanders experienced below average temperatures for this time of the year.

By midweek most of the showers had cleared as a ridge of high pressure pushed onto the country. Temperatures remained cool until the end of the week when another front headed towards the country.

This cold front had a lot more atmospheric support and Severe Weather Warnings and Watches were issued for much of the South Island and the far south of the North Island for the weekend.

“On Saturday and during the early hours of Sunday strong northwest winds preceded the front and affected exposed places in the South Island, Wellington and Wairarapa,” says MetService meteorologist Kyle Lee.

“The most extreme gusts were felt in Fiordland where they peaked at 160km per hour, and parts of the Canterbury High Country gusted up to 150km per hour. Areas included in the Watch, like the Canterbury Plains and Wellington, recorded gusts up to 100-110km per hour.”

Strong winds are expected to ease Sunday afternoon, apart from in Marlborough and the southern North Island.  Heavy Rain Warnings and Watches remain in force for these areas.

“So far parts of the headwaters in the South Island have seen up to 150mm of rain in the last 24 hours. This includes the Canterbury High Country, mainly south of the Rakaia River. Further north is expected to continue seeing the Heavy Rain until around 4pm today,” says Lee.

This front is forecast to move over the North Island tomorrow, while weakening. Although it is expected to bring rain to most places, northern areas are in line to miss out on the rain.

“This is not great news though, as dry conditions continue there.

“A look ahead shows a high-pressure system moving onto the country from late Monday, bringing settled weather to most of New Zealand for the working week. However, some lingering southerly winds will bring rain to eastern parts of the North Island.”

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