Ngā mihi o te tau hou, Happy New Year

Press Release – MetService

It is the last day of 2018, a time for celebration, relaxation, reflection and maybe a resolution or two.And what a year it has been, weather wise that is! The year started with the hottest month on record for New Zealand. Then, two ex-tropical cyclones brought widespread rain, resulting in the wettest February on record for Nelson and Blenheim. A windstorm in April cut power to parts of Auckland for days. In June, Christchurch recorded the second cloudiest month in the 70-odd years of observations, with Wellington similarly following suit with a gloomy month. September saw a record-early tropical cyclone, Liua, the earliest named cyclone for the Southwest Pacific since reliable satellite records began 49 years ago. Many regions saw less than 40% of their average rainfall during a dry October, before a wet November with some very low snow. Finally, the year ended off with bang; thunderstorms flared up during November and December, with one day recording a staggering 33,218 strikes in 24 hours!

So, what does 2019 hold for us Kiwis? MetService are forecasting a benign start to the year. “Cloudy periods and a few showers,” as Metservice Meteorologist Tui McInnes sums it up.
“The weather for the coming week is not particularly exciting,” McInnes explains, “but that’s probably exactly what many are wanting!”

The mixed weather means, depending on your location, you can expect a few good days as well as a few wetter days. Western regions such as the West Coast can expect wetter cloudier weather on average, and those further east can look forward to some drier spells.

MetService are forecasting thunderstorms and heavy rain tomorrow. A risk of Severe Thunderstorms is forecast for parts of the North Island tomorrow, and MetService are reminding people to stay vigilant, in particular to be aware of potential impacts such as flash flooding. Further, a heavy rain watch is in force for the West Coast. “In these situations, the timely reminder is for people to stay up to date with the latest weather information,” McInnes says.

In McInnes’ words “while it could be better, it could certainly be worse.”

Warnings are about taking action:

• When severe weather is imminent or is occurring

• Issued only when required

• Recommendation: ACT

Watches are about being alert:

• When severe weather is possible but not sufficiently imminent or certain for a Warning to be issued

• Issued only when required

• Recommendation: BE READY

Outlooks are about looking ahead:

• To provide advance information on possible future Watches and/or Warnings

• Issued routinely once or twice a day

• Recommendation: PLAN

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