As we approach the year’s end, the weather has a few more tales to tell before bidding farewell to 2023. MetService is forecasting a fittingly wet end to 2023 and a settled start to the new year.
The weather during the remaining days of the year is expected to arrive in two acts. The first kicks off on Friday as a warm, moist northwesterly flow brings at least some rain or showers to all reaches of the country. Heavy Rain Warnings and Watches have been issued for the wettest areas, with 100 to 160 mm of rain possible in Warning areas.
MetService meteorologist Mmathapelo Makgabutlane explains: “While many places will see quite a bit of rain, mountainous areas will bear the brunt of it. For those venturing into the great outdoors-camping, tramping, or even glamping-take note that heavy rain can lead to rising streams and rivers.”
Friday also brings the risk of thunderstorms for northern and western parts of the North and South Island, as well as well as the Deep South. “Although it will already be raining in those places, thunderstorms could bring short periods of more intense downpours to localised areas,” Makgabutlane warned.
The weather system sweeps through rapidly, and by the middle of Saturday most areas should see an improving trend, though a few showers linger about mountainous parts of the North Island.
The last wet weather front of the year moves across on Sunday. “Whether 2023 ends on a wet or a dry note will depend on how fast that front moves through. The outlook is favourable for the Deep South and Otago at the stroke of midnight, however things may be a bit dicey elsewhere. It is worth saying though, being a few days away, there’s still some wiggle room with those timings,” Makgabutlane says.
As the sun rises on 2024, a ridge of high pressure arrives to bring settled weather to Aotearoa New Zealand. “Apart from some showers in the western South Island and windy westerlies along the Southland coast, the outlook for Monday and Tuesday is not a bad way to start a new year,” Makgabutlane says.
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Understanding MetService Severe Weather Warning System
Severe Thunderstorm Warnings (Localised Red Warning) – take cover now:
- This warning is a red warning for a localised area.
- When extremely severe weather is occurring or will do within the hour.
- Severe thunderstorms have the ability to have significant impacts for an area indicated in the warning.
- In the event of a Severe Thunderstorm Red Warning: Act now!
Red Warnings are about taking immediate action:
- When extremely severe weather is imminent or is occurring
- Issued when an event is expected to be among the worst that we get – it will have significant impact and it is possible that a lot of people will be affected
- In the event of a Red Warning: Act now!
Orange Warnings are about taking action:
- When severe weather is imminent or is occurring
- Typically issued 1 – 3 days in advance of potential severe weather
- In the event of an Orange Warning: Take action.
Thunderstorm Watch means thunderstorms are possible, be alert and consider action
- Show the area that thunderstorms are most likely to occur during the validity period.
- Although thunderstorms are often localised, the whole area is on watch as it is difficult to know exactly where the severe thunderstorm will occur within the mapped area.
- During a thunderstorm Watch: Stay alert and take action if necessary.
Watches are about being alert:
- When severe weather is possible, but not sufficiently imminent or certain for a warning to be issued
- Typically issued 1 – 3 days in advance of potential severe weather.
- During a Watch: Stay alert
Outlooks are about looking ahead:
- To provide advanced information on possible future Watches and/or Warnings
- Issued routinely once or twice a day
- Recommendation: Plan