December 10, 2023

‘Significant global storm’ to ‘wallop’ NZ with wind, rain, snow

Watch: The latest from WeatherWatch.

The “first major winter storm” of 2023 is brewing in the Southern Ocean and will heavily impact New Zealand over the coming days.

Described by WeatherWatch as a “significant global storm”, the low-pressure system near Aotearoa is due to start deepening, bringing with it a lot of wind and rain.

From Tuesday to Thursday, Canterbury will get about 40mm total of rain. The heaviest rain this week is coming in along the eastern coastline of the South Island and into Wellington.

The pressure will continue to deepen as the week goes on.

“This is stormy stuff. If you were out at sea on a boat, you’d be very worried about all of this low pressure. This is a big winter storm that is brewing in the Southern Ocean – New Zealand is on the edge of it,” said WeatherWatch head weather analyst Philip Duncan.

“We’re going to get walloped by wind, rain, and snow.”

It won’t be so bad on Friday, but Saturday will be worse in terms of how windy it is.

“This is a significant global storm. New Zealand is on the edge of it, but is in the gale-force part of it, so very windy for New Zealand on Saturday,” Duncan said.

“By Sunday, a true winter southerly coming into the South Island. We’ve got large dry areas for Canterbury and the North Island has showers. Most of that showery weather is inland and to the west, if you’re out into the eastern side it should be much drier.”

MetService said there’ll be a change in the weather set-up through to the weekend.

“After a prolonged period of northeasterly rain for the upper north island, MetService is expecting a shift to blustery southwesterlies, with wintery weather kicking off the July school holidays,” MetService communications meteorologist Andrew James told Newshub.

There’ll be some snowfall for South Island ski fields, but James said the main thing for New Zealanders to watch out for is the strong winds and showers for those in the southwest.

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