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A bitterly cold blast has moved up the South Island and lower North Island today and it’s heading north tonight.  Hail showers moved over Timaru and Christchurch and light snow fell across inland parts of Canterbury along with a bitterly cold southerly.

Christchurch has hovered around 3 degrees for much of the day, although did peak at 7 with it’s highest temperature. 

Hail over Christchurch today. Image by South Island weather analyst Richard Green.

The southerly packed a punch in Wellington with winds up to gale force for a time and a wind chill near zero.More wintry showers have fallen than were expected as more moisture was being delivered by this southerly and has made conditions quite miserable.

South Island weather analyst Richard Green says snow has fallen in the MacKenzie country as well as inland Otago,  Canterbury and parts of Kaikoura.  “The snowline has dropped as low as 100 metres in some areas with Dunedins hill suburbs getting a dusting. Motorists are being asked to take care on some slippery routes due to the sleet and snow”.

Green says there has been a gradual clearance for some in the south but the polar air remains. “Temperatures have struggled to hit any real highs today and that could be the trend for the weekend”.

As skies clear once the southerly fades, frosts should move in over the
weekend for most southerners, which has been a rare experience in recent

Head weather analyst Philip Duncan says the southerly will bring a chill to everyone over the weekend.  “Some regions have enjoyed temperatures in the late teens lately, but this weekend will be much cooler with a number of North Island places struggling to reach 12 degrees”.

Mr Duncan says the cold weather is tonight moving into the lower North Island affecting Hawkes Bay, Wanganui and Taranaki.  “Saturday will be a cold day for much of New Zealand and Sunday looks similar however sunnier”.

And the long range forecast provided by the Weather Watch Centre shows another cold snap moving into the South Island next week.  The cold southerly change, currently expected to move in on Wednesday, could see more snow, sleet and hail to many parts of the South Island.   Mr Duncan stresses that nothing severe is in the forecast at this stage but next weeks possible wintry outbreak is something worth keeping an eye on.


sentastorm on 9/08/2008 12:25am

i woke up to a white out . I think the snow has gone for now . 4 c at mid day .

Nick on 8/08/2008 5:39pm

And it’s anowing in Christchurch city again

Peter Grant on 7/08/2008 9:01pm

Snowing here currently, +2 degrees and approx 5 knot easterly.

WW Forecast Team on 8/08/2008 3:16am

Thanks for that and snow falling lower down in some other areas too..who said it wasn’t going to be not that significant??!!…cheers for that and enjoy!

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