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Make the most of the sunny weather over New Zealand, it’s about to turn nasty – that’s according to the Radio Network’s Weather Watch Centre which is expecting a big southern storm to hit the country during the weekend and lasting through until mid next week. Head weather analyst Philip Duncan says the long range predictions show a bitterly cold blast that should see snow to sea levels in the South Island and possibly falling as far north as the Kaimai Ranges.

“All our computer models are showing a real southerly blast from Antarctica. This has all the hallmarks of a fierce winter storm, especially for Southern New Zealand”.

Duncan says weather partner is predicting snow in Invercargill, Dunedin, Queenstown, Cromwell, and Timaru, with snow to low levels around Taupo. “When it snows to low levels over Central Plateau it’s very possible that snow will fall on high peaks of the Kaimai and possibly Coromandel ranges”.

The storm is expected to arrive on the tails of a strong high pressure system currently anchored over New Zealand. “Heavy rain is likely on Sunday over the South Island – great news for the hydro lakes.  Heavy falls are also expected in north facing areas of the North Island.  By Monday a southerly will kick in, in the far south, with snow levels lowering. On Tuesday snow is likely down to sea level in Southland, Otago and Canterbury and by Wednesday it will head north with snow expected on the Desert Road and to low levels across the Central North Island”.

Duncan admits it’s still a number of days out so the public need to keep up to date with the latest weather news bulletins at

“Confidence is pretty high that this storm will eventuate but it’s severity depends on the speed of the departing high over New Zealand and the second high moving in from the Tasman.  If the New Zealand high lingers it will soften the impact of the southerly, but at this stage our models are all predicting a wet end to the weekend and a bitterly cold blast moving through early next week”.


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