Weather: Southern Ocean storm brings strong winds, heavy rain to New Zealand

  • 25/03/2024
The centre of the low-pressure system is expected to move closer to New Zealand on Monday.
The centre of the low-pressure system is expected to move closer to New Zealand on Monday. Photo credit: Getty Images

A Southern Ocean storm is expected to bring strong winds and heavy rain to the South Island and southern North Island today and Tuesday morning. 

WeatherWatch said a storm centred near Antarctica with very low air pressure (950hPa at times) will push gales and heavy rain into parts of New Zealand over the coming days. 

"It could be described as an Autumn blast with wind being the main feature. Northern NZ will be least affected and southern and central parts of the country most exposed," the forecasting agency said. 

The centre of the low-pressure system is expected to move closer to New Zealand on Monday, bringing bursts of strong gales into exposed and southern parts of the South Island with winds from the west to northwest direction.  

MetService has issued a strong wind watch for Canterbury High Country, Fiordland, Otago, Southland and Stewart Island from Monday afternoon/evening until Tuesday morning. Wind in these areas may approach severe gales in exposed areas. 

A heavy rain watch has been issued for the ranges of the Westland District and Fiordland from Monday afternoon/evening until Tuesday morning. 

Wind will also pick up around Wellington and the lower North Island. Windier weather will also spread up the country into Auckland, the Coromandel Peninsula and Bay of Plenty, WeatherWatch said. 

A strong wind watch has also been issued for Wellington and Wairarapa from about Carterton southwards from midnight Monday until 10am on Tuesday. 

WeatherWatch said the North Island is mostly dry for Monday, but a few showers will pepper the western coastal side. 

It said Tuesday will see windy weather continue although it should be less intense. Meanwhile, Wednesday has colder air around the South Island with snow on the ranges as the storm system moves away. 

Here's MetService's short forecast: 

Northland to Waikato, also Coromandel

Fine spells, and the odd shower this morning and evening.

Bay of Plenty, and Gisborne to Wairarapa

Fine with some high cloud.

Waitomo to Wellington, including the central high country

Partly cloudy with a few showers.

Nelson, Marlborough and Canterbury

Mainly fine, with isolated showers inland. Northwest gales possible about inland Canterbury from this evening.

Buller, Westland and Fiordland

Occasional rain or showers, heavy and possibly thundery at times.

Otago and Southland

Cloudy periods. Any remaining rain clearing this morning. However, rain spreading north again this evening, briefly heavy, with northwest gales possible in exposed places.

Chatham Islands

Showers turning to rain for a time this morning, possibly heavy, then clearing this afternoon and fine spells developing.