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Weather and waves for Anzac weekend

Weather and waves for Anzac weekend

Posted April 22, 2021

Media Release: MetService

MetService is forecasting a mixed bag of weather for Anzac weekend with strong swell in the west and a frosty start to the second week of the school holidays.

A front tracking across Aotearoa New Zealand tomorrow (Friday), will be accompanied by rain for the west of both islands. Heavy Rain Watches have been issued for Fiordland north of Doubtful Sound, and the ranges of Westland south of Otira.

MetService meteorologist Alwyn Bakker warns, “A risk of thunderstorms travels with the front, with the possibility of peak rain rates of 10-25mm an hour. However, the eastern areas of both islands will stay mainly fine.”

Heavy swell with a very long period of 18-20 seconds will affect the west coasts of both islands over the weekend. Waves of up to 9 meters are possible in the Far South from Friday evening, moving up the coast from then, gradually lowering to 4 metres off the Auckland west coast on Saturday. Long period swells can create strong and dangerous rip currents with high beach run up, so care is advised for those visiting west coast beaches over the long weekend.

A ridge develops on Saturday, gradually driving away most of the rain. However, a trough approaches Auckland and the Far North in the evening.

The ridge weakens on Sunday as another front moves onto the lower South Island. Anzac Day dawn services around the country should stay mainly dry, but Auckland, the lower North Island, and Christchurch could see a few showers.

The front travels over the South Island during Sunday, and the North Island on Monday, with rain and a cool southwesterly in its wake. Single-digit overnight temperatures are expected for most, with frosts in parts of the South Island, especially inland and sheltered areas.