Weather

Weather forecasting websites

Look at weather forecasts before you go:

  • Metservice Mountain forecasts, 7 day rain forecasts and rural forecasts are good
  • MetVUW A basic rain and windspeed forecast that is often very accurate
  • NZ Avalanche Center For those that are keen to knock off a peak

Reading the Weather

Signs of approaching bad weather include increasing wind speed and the
arrival of clouds known as ‘hog’s backs’. These are the outriders of
northwesterly storms. In general, northwesterlies bring wet weather and
storms, southerlies bring cold weather followed by clear conditions,
northeasterlies indicate good weather and southwesterlies are cool,
rain-laden winds. Because New Zealand is located in the ‘roaring forties’ latitude, it has
prevailing west to east weather system. Warm and moisture-laden wind from
the Tasman Sea hits the Southern Alps and is swept upward, cooling and
dropping its moisture. This creates a wet climate on the West Coast and a
dry one on the east (annual rainfall can vary from 7500mm on the west
coast to only 330mm on the other side of the divide, not too far away).
Wind from the south comes from Antartica and is always cold.