Weather

Wild Weather this Easter for New Zealand

Hannah Wilson, 21 April 2019

A cold front and low-pressure duo are currently battering central New Zealand, with heavy rain and lightning strikes set to continue through this evening.

New Zealand has just experienced a blissful week of dry and calm weather, with a high pressure system sustaining sunshine over the country. However, just in time for the Easter long weekend, Good Friday saw a strong cold front coupled with a low-pressure system hit the South Island's west coast, triggering showers.

As the systems slowly move northeast, rainfall amounts have only intensified as the low directs brisk southwesterly winds across the lower North Island and upper South Island.

The worst hit area so far has been Taranaki on the North Island's southwest coast, with 24mm of rain recorded in just one hour for Ingelwood, New Plymouth seeing 51mm fall in three hours and over 70 lightning strikes recorded across the region.  

A Severe Weather Watch for heavy rainfall is in place for Taranaki as well as for the eastern Bay of Plenty and Gisborne ranges, with the frontal system expected to reach the North Island's northeast by Monday morning and move off the coast on Tuesday.

Heavy showers are expected to continue however, as the large low-pressure system following closely behind the front still lingers over the North Island and upper South Island. The high-pressure ridge which has already moved over the lower South Island should eventually push this low offshore, with dry conditions returning from Tuesday.