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Brief wintry burst

Photo: Snow around Central Plateau last winter – snow is possible tonight and tomorrow on the

Desert Road

.   Photo / File, Jason Winstanley.

It’s a cold morning in the South Island with a burst of torrential rain over Christchurch in the past few minutes as a weak southerly front heads north. 

Heavy showers, some with hail, are expected along the southern and eastern coastline today with a burst of wintry air spreading right over New Zealand by Thursday.

The Weather Watch Centre predicts single digit highs in a number of main centres from the lower North Island southwards on Wednesday, including Wellington and Christchurch, as that southerly strengthens.

Highs between just 10 and 15 degrees are expected over much of the North Island on Thursday with a number of centres around 12. 

The system isn’t particularly nasty but will bring biting wind chills to southern and eastern parts of both islands.   The Weather Watch Centre also predicts a ‘high’ chance of snow on the Desert road tonight and tomorrow and advises motorists to check road conditions before heading off.   It’s uncertain if snow falls will be heavy enough to close the road.

There is good news for those who prefer it sunny and cold – a large high is predicted to spread into northern and western regions by the end of the week, with cold, showery, southerlies easing along the east coast of New Zealand as the week progresses.


Derek on 19/05/2009 4:44am

We are certainly noticing the drop in temp here in Whangarei, been no rain to speak of but as the wind increased during the day it cooled down quite a bit from what we have been used to of late.

Looks like wrapping up is on the menu for the next few days at least.

Jason on 18/05/2009 10:52pm

Just had the southerly come through an hour ago here in North Canterbury with some strong gusts a drop in temperature and breif light rain with a few hail stones.
Suns now shining and the wind is almost nothing now, looks like the first cold front has gone through.
This system is one to watch in the next 24 hours, i will be watching for gales and snow to sea level.

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