Weather: 'Severe', 'wintry' conditions predicted next week

Forecasters are warning Kiwis to make the most of the nice weather - because later next week looks very different for New Zealand.

WeatherWatch has revised the width of the high pressure belt currently over the country to over 11,000km wide. This will boost both day and night temperatures with afternoon highs well above normal for this time of the year.

"Today this high is at its maximum width - in the days ahead it shrinks and crosses NZ allowing for a warmer sub-tropical breeze to develop," it says.

"But next week this belt of high pressure is replaced by perhaps an equally enormous area of low pressure.

"It will take a few days to affect the North Island next week but by later next week we may be seeing some severe weather and wintry conditions developing."

WeatherWatch warns this could result in "gales, snow, thunderstorms and heavy rain".

"High pressure just north of NZ may put a limit or 'cap' on how far the heaviest rain will go - and considering the North Island needs the rain the most this setup is still not a 'perfect' one for soaking rains for everyone, but it's another shot at getting some moisture," WeatherWatch says.

"Also, the centre of this low looks a long way south of the country - that's the energy maker for the rainbands so the further away the centre of the low is the less likely rainfall totals will amount to much in the north."


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