After a brutally cold start to winter for many regions the weather this weekend will be fairly Autumn-like with mild, settled weather kicking off the weekend for most then turning to colder wetter weather on Sunday.
Thursday marked the winter solstice in New Zealand which means no matter how you look at it winter is officially underway.
The shortest day usual signals the start to the coldest weather, however WeatherWatch.co.nz head weather analyst Philip Duncan says we may have already experienced some of the coldest weather this winter. “June started off so aggressively cold that in some regions temperatures fell to about as low as they get even in the depths of winter”.
Wind chills were estimated to be -12 of even lower around Hokitika at the start of the month in a freak blast that killed 200 cattle. Frosts of -2 have been reported in Northland and Auckland has had several frosts already, something more common in July or August for the city of sails.
Christchurch received record cold and snow has already fallen in the city on more than one day along with sleet and hail showers in other South Island centres.
Mr Duncan says the weather over the next few days will be fairly unsettled with another possible cold snap but a short lived high will bring a more settled Friday and Saturday to most main centres.
“We have a high pressure system to the north of the country which is basically telling the cold stuff to stay away for now, but on Saturday a cold front will push into the South Island bringing heavy rain to the West Coast and colder southerlies behind it, then a much colder southerly is likely around Tuesday and Wednesday”.
WeatherWatch.co.nz says the cold blast next week may see snow again falling to near sea level – but it may be more of a Southland and Otago event than a Canterbury event, although it’s too early to be sure.
At the time this story was written the current data used by WeatherWatch.co.nz was predicting Invercargill would only reach 4 degrees on Tuesday and just 6 on Wednesday with hail, sleet, and thunderstorms all a possibility – if those temperatures prove correct then snow to sea level may be likely.
“This Saturday looks fairly pleasant in the North Island and for eastern parts of the South Island although blustery winds may reach gale force in the east and around Wellington. Sunday looks wetter in the north and colder in the south”.
WeatherWatch.co.nz will keep you updated on this next potential cold blast.
on 22/06/2012 12:30am
Yet the forecasts you have up currently show In,gill as “6° | 11° sunny with some cloud” Most of the time, they are way out when it comes to accuracy.
If it is SW, then any decent snow will probably be well to the west and east of the city.
on 22/06/2012 2:33am
Wer use different data to produce our snow and cold predictions – the same data that exclusively predicted snow in Nelson, Greymouth, Wellington and New Plymouth last year (and it comes out of Atlanta as well, which is remarkable). We are working on making the Invercargill forecasts more accurate – first step will be to add 4 days parts and not just the single forecast you see now – this will give more accuracy for overnight, morning, afternoon and evening. This will be done this year I hope.