NZ Weather: The monster list of weather warnings, watches as 'explosive storm' nears

A monster list of weather warnings and watches for this weekend has been released by MetService ahead of the incoming weather bomb.

New Zealand will be lashed by brutal gales this weekend and on Monday in what has been referred to as a "significant severe weather event" and an "explosive storm". 

It's the result of a rapidly deepening low that's just passing over the Tasman. Between Saturday and Monday, central air pressure will plummet, causing a weather bomb. That will then whip up chilly Antarctic air that blast southern parts of Aotearoa, causing concerns for livestock.

"The low itself is not going over the top of NZ but it will grow so large over the Southern Ocean it will bring strong winds, snow and sub-zero wind chills to parts of the lower South Island and gales may spread as far north as Auckland City," Weatherwatch says.

Earlier on Friday, MetService released a chart revealing how the incoming storm compared to previous years weather events and the forecaster promised warnings would be issued soon.

They've now been filed, and in MetService's words: "There are heeaaaps of them!"

"#SeptemberStorm is very unusual in how widespread the severe weather will be," it says.

There are two heavy rain warnings, with MetService saying the rain "may cause streams and rivers to rise rapidly".

"Surface flooding and slips are also possible and driving conditions may be hazardous".

  • Westland about and south of Otira - between 7pm on Saturday and 1pm on Sunday
  • Headwaters of Canterbury lakes and rivers south of Arthurs Pass - between 7pm on Saturday and 11am on Saturday.

A strong wind warning has been issued for two locations, with gusts potentially strong enough to "damage trees, powerlines and unsecured structures". 

"Driving may be hazardous, especially for high-sided vehicles and motorcycles."

  • Wairarapa excluding the Tararua District, Wellington - between 11pm on Saturday and 2pm on Sunday
  • Canterbury High County - between 6pm on Saturday and 11am on Sunday.

Heavy rain watches will be in place for: 

  • The ranges of eastern Bay Of Plenty - between 6am and 2pm on Sunday
  • Taumarunui and the Tongariro National Park - between 6am and 1pm on Sunday
  • Mount Taranaki - between 4am and 11am on Sunday
  • Nelson about and west of Takaka, Buller, Westland north of Otira - between 11pm on Saturday and 6pm on Sunday
  • Tararua Range - between 4am and 1am on Sunday
  • Headwaters of Otago lakes and rivers - between 6pm on Saturday and 10am on Sunday
  • Richmond Range including the Rai Valley - between 11pm on Saturday and 7am on Sunday
  • Fiordland - between 6pm on Saturday and 1pm on Sunday.

Heavy snow watches will be in place for:

  • Clutha, Central Otago south of Alexandra, Southland, Fiordland, Stewart Island - between 6pm on Sunday and 10am on Tuesday.

Strong wind watches will be in place for:

  • Christchurch, Canterbury Plains - between 11pm on Saturday and 11am on Sunday
  • Central Otago, Southern Lakes - between 4pm on Saturday and 9am on Sunday
  • Fiordland, Southland and Stewart Island - between 3pm on Saturday and 1am on Sunday
  • North Taranaki across to East Cape and northwards - between 3am on Sunday and 12pm on Monday
  • Ranges of Gisborne and Hawke's Bay north of Hastings - between 4am and 1pm on Sunday
  • From Taranaki south of the mountain across to Kaweka Forecast Park, including the Tongariro National Park - between 1am and 9am on Sunday
  • Hawke's Bay south of Hastings and Tararua District - between 5am and 10pm on Sunday
  • Marlborough - between 11pm on Saturday and 1pm on Sunday

The full list that will be updated throughout the weekend can be found here.