Weather: Low 'bigger than Australia' bringing New Zealand a cold, windy week

People putting up tents in windy conditions.
People putting up tents in windy conditions. Photo credit: Getty

One of the "largest areas of low pressure on earth right now" is bringing a windy and cooler week to New Zealand.

"This one has merged with others to create a low that is bigger than Australia, dwarfing the size of New Zealand," WeatherWatch says.

"It's centred well south-east of the Chatham Islands, yet stretches far enough west to capture some of the eastern Tasman Sea.

"Because this is a large low it has big reach - in other words, it will scoop up cold air from the Southern Ocean. This will not be a flash week for campers - expect some ripped tents and awnings as winds pick up."

MetService advises people to factor in the wind chill when making outdoor plans.

"The cool southwest flow is really making itself known, dropping the temperatures well below average in the far south," the weather agency says.

"Wind chill will be an issue especially if in shorts and jandals!"

Things to know:

  • The strongest winds are expected to peak this coming Monday and Tuesday, with gales over 120km/h in some exposed areas in the South Island and lower North Island and 60km/h gales possible up to Auckland
  • The coolest air is expected to peak Monday to Wednesday nationwide with some places in the lower South Island failing to reach the teens next week
  • Temperatures by day and night will be below average, or average, in most regions for the next 72 hours
  • Monday and Tuesday may feel more like winter for some southern areas with highs failing to reach the teens
  • Another storm in the Southern Ocean is possible this weekend and early next week, which may bring another surge of windier weather