An active front barrelling up the South Island "like a
freight train" is leaving cool Antarctic air in its wake and
threatening the eastern side of the country with 100kmh
The strong winds brought by the front has resulted in a
severe weather warning for Hawkes Bay, Wairarapa and
The front was dredging up cold Antarctic air from well south
of New Zealand, WeatherWatch head weather analyst Philip
Daytime highs for the middle of January were well below
average and would struggle to reach double digits in some
areas tomorrow, he said.
For parts of coastal Southland and Otago, the highs would
reach a mere 11C to 13C degrees tomorrow.
Despite its large size, the system didn't look like it would
linger, Mr Duncan said.
Christchurch's high would shoot up back up to 27C on Sunday
as the nor'westers returned, and Dunedin would bounce back up
Regions far from the south, including Bay of Plenty and
Gisborne, were seeing much hotter and drier weather, Mr
MetService spokesman Dan Corbett said the front was bringing
the risk of thunderstorms to eastern parts of the South
Island, along with some strong gusty winds, which would
"barrel up the east coast of the South Island like a freight
"It will move through Christchurch this evening and
Wellington around midnight. Winds gusts in the southerly
could get up to around 100km/h later today, early tonight."
A severe weather warning was in place for Hawkes Bay,
Wairarapa and Canterbury - where west to northwest gales were
expected to gust around 120km/h this afternoon, before easing
later in the evening, Mr Corbett said.
The winds had the potential to damage trees and powerlines,
and make driving difficult, especially for high-sided
vehicles and motorcycles.
The front would also bring cooler temperatures to across the
south and east of the country and there could even be a
dusting of snow across the Southern Alps in the far south
down to around 1000m by early tomorrow, Mr Corbett said.
However, the cooler air would have little impact in the far
north of the North Island.
Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga could expect a few showers
later tonight and early tomorrow followed by a gusty
southwesterly, which would be particularly strong across
eastern parts Coromandel and the Bay of Plenty, Mr Corbett
Meanwhile, looking forward to the weekend, an anticyclone
building across the country would bring mostly fine and dry
weather, he said.
- Brendan Manning of APNZ