First day of spring to kick off with snow
UPDATED 8:38am -- Thursday is the first official day of Spring in New Zealand but Winter is going to remind us it's not quite finished with us yet.
WeatherWatch.co.nz is again predicting snow to low levels - but unlike previous snow storms over the past several weeks this one is going to be short and sharp and snow is less likely to settle in our main centres.
Sleet is predicted in from Invercargill to Dunedin, then up to Christchurch and into Wellington, but snow is now not looking so likely, with temperatures probably too high for snow.
"I think we'll see more of a rain and snow mix for Christchurch on Thursday evening, it's possible snow flakes may fall again overnight in the city but it's looking less likely".
Mr Green says snow will be more likely above a couple of hundred metres which will affect inland parts of Canterbury towards the hills.
Around Dunedin and Invercargill precipitation levels aren't likely to be as high, which again reduces the risk of snow.
WeatherWatch.co.nz believes most main centres won't see any snow, but says residents still need to keep up with the latest forecasts as snow systems have a habit of being tricky to forecast.
The North Island will feel the cold too, with the southerly change hitting the capital late on Thursday.
Head weather analyst Philip Duncan says it will be cold in the wind for Wellington on Thursday night and Friday - but that snow wasn't expected in the city. "For snow lovers you'll have to head for the hills to find any white stuff" he said. "We are predicting sleet possibly for a time in Wellington and perhaps a few snow flakes above 200 metres, but it's not likely to settle and will most likely fall in the very early hours of Friday when people are sleeping".
He says State Highway 2 over the Rimutaka Ranges may be affected by snow at the summit overnight Thursday and the Desert Road was facing a similar forecast on Friday morning.
"While it will be cold for many places on Friday it won't be as bad as the snow storm earlier this month. The air from this blast is coming from midway over the Southern Ocean and not off the South Pole" says Mr Duncan.
For skiers the news is great - with more snow for most ski fields on Thursday and Friday and then sunny weather moving in for the weekend.
However Farmers are being told be prepared for the cold change - which thankfully will die out by Saturday.
Frosty conditions are then predicted and vine growers are also being advised to prepare for potential frosts.
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