MetService is forecasting a significant change in the weather in the days ahead, after nearly a week of calm conditions associated with a persistent ridge.
“A change is coming for many this week, as a cold front moves over the South Island and lower North Island,“ says meteorologist Rob Kerr.
"With the warm, moist northwesterlies ahead of the front set to bring heavy rain and gale force winds to southern and central parts of the country during the next few days,” he adds.
Severe Weather Warnings for rain accumulation are now in place for parts of the South Island extending into Tuesday. Up to 600mm is forecast to fall on Fiordland and West Coast ranges south of Otira from Sunday through Tuesday.
Significant rainfall is also expected into the headwaters of Otago and Canterbury rivers and lakes during this event, with 500mm possible about the divide, and 280mm within 20km of the Divide during Monday and Tuesday.
A Watch is also in place as northwest gales could become severe, starting in Southland and Fiordland Monday evening, then all of Otago and Canterbury during Tuesday.
“This is both a significant event, and a big change from current conditions,” Kerr cautions, “with updates to current Severe Weather Warnings and Watches likely as the system approaches, and further Severe Weather Warnings and/or Watches possible as it moves northwards during the week,” says Kerr.