Your web browser (Internet Explorer) is out of date. Some things will not look right and things might not work properly. Please download an up-to-date and free browser from here.

Cold change coming – is this winter’s last flirt?

As some parts of the South Island headed towards the low to mid-20s in recent days many locals know what’s coming next – a few days of cold. 

Outside of the summer months hot winds often indicate a cold change approaching , as warm north to north west winds preceding the cold front blow down over the eastern side of the Southern Alps, warming up further as they do so.

But across Monday and Tuesday the recent warm spell comes to an end.

The southerly change – which for those in the deep south east is coming from near Antarctica – will push in during Monday PM.   Direct polar air from over the ice shelf itself looks likely to miss NZ by a few hundred kilometres to our south east – in other words, it will be cold for some but not a major polar blast.

Over Tuesday and Wednesday it affects more regions into the North Island – mostly southern and eastern regions south of Gisborne, but even Auckland will see highs drop from near 20 degrees in recent days to just 15 degrees on Wednesday.

The coldest air will be blowing straight into Southland and Otago but Canterbury, Wellington and Wairarapa are also fairly exposed.

Some parts of Southland and Otago will fail to reach double digit highs on Tuesday and/or Wednesday. predicts a high of 20 degrees on Sunday in Dunedin, then that plummets to 11 degrees on Monday and just 9 degrees Tuesday and Wednesday – but it could be back into the mid to late teens by Thursday ahead of a much windier, warmer, change moving in.

Christchurch and Canterbury get the bulk of the rain and cold air on Tuesday with highs across the region hovering around 9 to 11 degrees, but sunny weather returns Wednesday and warm weather returns Thursday.

Wellington will get the southerly on late Monday or early Tuesday followed by a couple of chilly, cloudy and damp days

As for snow, some heavy falls are possible in the South Island mountains but nothing heavy is expected to low levels – in fact light snow isn’t expected to low levels either with daytime temperatures still hovering around 9 to 11 degrees for most main centres, which is far too warm for snow.

By the end of next week predicts the start of another fairly windy westerly period for the nation which could last for a week or two but will mean warmer weather for most regions.



Guest on 5/10/2013 10:07pm

Hey WW, Metservice has issued a Special Weather Advisory for snow above 500m in Canterbury and Marlborough, do you believe this cold outbreak may be a significant event (in terms of snow) for places above 500m in Canterbury? Thanks a lot for your help.

WW Forecast Team on 6/10/2013 6:23am

Hi there

Please check out our latest article this evening 🙂


ron on 5/10/2013 1:23am

Any likelyhood of frost through Hawke’s Bay?

WW Forecast Team on 5/10/2013 2:32am

Probably not too likely as there will be cloud and wind associated with this, then a change to warmer nor’westers late week. However the night of that change (as winds die out from the SW and build the next day from the NW) poses some risk – perhaps Weds or Thurs. But only low risk at this stage – we’ll be monitoring for frosts, especially via our CountryTV broadcasts. If we see anything significant we’ll certainly be mentioning here too.



guest on 4/10/2013 9:48pm

going to Kaikoura on wednesdany to friday how does that look

WW Forecast Team on 4/10/2013 9:49pm

You picked the best time!  Wind turning westerly or northerly, warming up and mostly sunny. Could be quite windy on Friday.  Keep an eye on our wind maps above.



Related Articles