Significant rain event expected to impact western parts of the South Island, New Zealand


A significant rain event is expected to impact western parts of the South Island, New Zealand during the next few days. Severe weather forecasters have already issued Orange Heavy Rain Warnings for parts of Westland and Fiordland with Heavy Rain Watches also in place for Southland and the headwaters of the Canterbury Rivers and Lakes. 

An active front will approach the South Island from the Tasman Sea on Thursday, November 25, 2021, and then move slowly northwards across the lower South Island on Friday, November 26.

"The front becomes slow-moving over central and northern parts of the South Island on Saturday and Sunday, delivering heavy rain to western and southern parts of the South Island," MetService meteorologist Andy Best said.

"There is a risk of significant heavy falls, possibly bringing large impacts, for Westland, and as such people are advised to stay up to date with the latest Warnings and Watches in case any changes are made, or further areas are added."

Be aware that heavy rain may cause streams and rivers to rise rapidly, MetService said.

Surface flooding and slips are also possible and driving conditions may be hazardous. These are particularly important for people traveling around the impacted areas. 

On Saturday, as the front moves up the South Island a burst of cold air is expected to pour over the southern half of the island east of the Main Divide it will be a noticeably cooler day from Ashburton down to Wanaka.

For example, we expect Ashburton to reach a maximum temperature of 24 °C (75 °F) on Friday but only 14 °C (57 °F) on Saturday. These maximum temperatures are around 6 °C (11 °F) below average for November.

This cold snap is only a brief shock to the system, as daytime temperatures on Sunday recover quickly to close to average values.


Significant heavy rain expected for the west of the South Island – MetService News Release November 25, 2021 – Covering period: November 25 – 28

Featured image credit: MetService


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