Weather: New Zealand braces for cold winds, thunderstorms and large waves

  • 13/04/2024

A low-pressure system is crossing New Zealand on Saturday, bringing more heavy rain and strong winds to the country.

It's followed a cool southwesterly flow, which sees temperatures drop after a run of warm and sticky nights.

MetService said the low-pressure system was southwest of Taranaki at noon today.

"Strong winds and heavy showers affect the western half of the North Island and the top of the South Island, with more heavy rain about to hit Wellington," it posted to Facebook.

During the afternoon, there is a moderate risk of thunderstorms in the west from Taranaki to Wellington, and about Wairarapa. There is also a moderate risk of thunderstorms this afternoon about the Marlborough Sounds and the northwest of the Tasman District.

These thunderstorms could bring localised heavy rain of 10 to 25mm/h, small hail, and from Manawatū northwards strong winds gusting 90 to 110km/h.

A heavy rain watch has been issued until 4pm for Tasman northwest of Motueka, while strong wind watches have been issued until 5pm for the south Taranaki coast and coastal Whanganui, and 10pm for Manawatū and the Tararua District.

NIWA warns these winds will whip up large waves, which will impact along the west of the North Island.

"Something to keep in mind if you'll be on a boat or near the water," it noted.

After this, a cool southwesterly flow takes over behind the low.

"After the warm rain event of the last couple of days, the sticky nights have come to an end for the North Island, while cool temperatures continue for the South Island (Invercargill got down to 4C!" MetService posted.

"The cloud, southerly winds and showers down south mean temperatures aren't expected to rise much; Timaru and Ashburton have a high of 12C forecast, only 3C higher than their 7am temperature of 9C."