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Antarctic blast races closer (+ New Maps)

Temperatures south of New Zealand are quickly plummeting well below zero this afternoon as an Antarctic blast races towards the South Island tonight and the rest of the country tomorrow night.

There are numerous snow warnings currently in force covering regions in both islands.

Polar air has surged over Macquarie Island, Australian territory about 1000kms south west of Invercargill.  The temperature there this hour is -3 degrees.

The air headed towards New Zealand is polar air – coming from directly over Antarctica and is currently racing racing northwards to reach southern New Zealand tonight. says the air is coming from near McMurdo Station, a New Zealand region, where it’s currently -20 degrees.

Auckland and Campbell Islands (500 to 700kms south of Invercargill) remain several degrees warmer ahead of the cold change but Auckland Island is in the firing line for the snowy change shortly – then it’s on to Southland in the next 6 to 9 hours (around midnight) with an even colder pool of air arriving a few hours after that.

Check out our two maps below – the top one shows where the Antarctic blast currently is, the other one below shows exactly where the air is coming from and why it’s so super chilled.  Temperatures on the top map were valid as of 3:45pm Saturday. / Google Earth

As of 5pm Saturday – a very basic plot of where the cold air is coming from, near McMurdo where it’s currently -20.



Guest on 23/07/2011 4:47am

Is that ’13’ degrees somewhere in Central Otago??

WW Forecast Team on 23/07/2011 6:26am

That is a very good point – as no where in Southland or Otago was anywhere near 13 today!  It’s either an incorrect reading or the icon is showing a West Coast reading (a few places reached 13 there today).

– WW

Edit:  Just checked, it’s an out of date reading for Cromwell, all other stations appear to be correct though.  Oddly it now says 14 degrees there but in reality it’s around 6 to 8 degrees.

Guest on 23/07/2011 6:33am

I figured it was wrong, lol. I’d hazard a guess that their temp at the moment, is probably about 2 degrees or less going by Queenstown and Wanaka right now.

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