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, snowy blast arriving this week

Mother Nature is serving up a severe cold snap later this week as a southerly surge is set to deliver rain with snow to basically sea level for eastern areas of the South Island and low levels about Wellington and the North Island’s east coast plus central areas to boot.

Big southerlies are likely to hammer parts of the Wellington region and also Wairarapa as well with conditions bleak for many areas across New Zealand.

Christchurch and Dunedin might struggle to climb above five degrees on both Thursday and Friday with snow flurries likely across both cities.
There’s potential for significant falls for the Christchurch area and we’ll be watching this closely.
There’s suggestions of falls up to 10-20cm if not higher about hill suburbs but still a number of factors need to come into play before this is confirmed.

Aucklanders might struggle to make double figures in some suburbs on Wednesday and Thursday with thunder and hail also a possibility mid-week.

The south to southeast airflow will see bitterly cold weather conditions for much of New Zealand and this is on top of a soggy Sunday yesterday and intermittent rain or showers during the first three days of this week.

“It’s certainly looking like a proper first wintry outbreak of the season and it doesn’t appear to be fleeting” says weather analyst Richard Green.”It’s going to have quite a bit of grunt and some of the data coming in shows considerable snow which might cause a few problems”.

WeatherWatch sees some snow totals nearing the half metre mark down to 3-400 metres in exposed eastern of the South Island. As we draw closer to the event the picture will become clearer on exact amounts of rain and snow and also the strength of the wind plus temperature highs.

“The windchill will be very cold over almost all of the country and for those vulnerable to the south and east it might be an idea to be prepared as temperatures might feel colder than freezing point in places’ according to Richard Green.”Farmers will need to get themselves organised probably for this system but it’s expected at this time of the year however snow drifts in some areas over the south might be an issue”.

Winds could be strong and blustery and blizzard type conditions can’t be ruled out at higher levels over the Mainland later this week. 

Whether snow settles at sea level is a marginal call for those areas exposed to the upcoming chilly spell along eastern coastlines of the South Island.
It’s not that the amount of snow falling that would necessarily be the issue but the amount of rain that would have fallen before the coldest air arrives which could make it difficult to thicken up across land.
If it does lie there’s potential for quite a few centimetres, even at sea level.

WeatherWatch will continue to monitor the situation throughout the week.

The weekend turned out wet as expected and yesterday saw some heavy falls ended up resulting in surface flooding and snow about the high country across the South Island in places.
The Tasman region bore the brunt of it with one fatality as a result of a house slip in Golden Bay.
Many roads were impassable late yesterday and overnight.
Auckland and Christchurch also saw surface flooding and Central Otago saw the Crown Range closed.

Today, showers or rain shouldn’t be to the same sort of intensity as yesterday however pockets of heavy downpours are likely in amongst showers and dry spells. Some heavy falls are still possible from Canterbury southwards this morning.

Skifields saw decent dumps over the weekend at the high end of the range and this week bodes well for further falls which is good news for fields set to open over the next two to three weeks.





Guest on 19/06/2013 8:09am

What is the chances of Christchurch getting snow down to sea level now

WW Forecast Team on 19/06/2013 10:10am

Probably 65% at this stage – but our confidence has been wavering around 45 – 55% the past day.  Tricky stuff predicting this fine line!


Guest on 19/06/2013 2:03am

Whats the chance of snow falling near sea level on the kapiti coast?

WW Forecast Team on 19/06/2013 2:50am

No expected in Kapiti – but low levels on the hills to your east (maybe down to 100 or 200m on Friday night/Sat morning).


Guest on 18/06/2013 7:58pm

What are the chances of there being snow down to sea level in Christchurch,how much of it will settle?

WW Forecast Team on 18/06/2013 8:29pm

Hi there – please read our latest Timeline story on our homepage – also our FAQ section might help:

Guest on 18/06/2013 12:48pm

I have a bus scheduled for Dunedin heading to Christchurch Friday morning. How likely is it that it will be cancelled? Cheers!

WW Forecast Team on 18/06/2013 8:30pm

Hi there – please read our latest Timeline story on our homepage – also our FAQ section might help:

View more comments

Related Articles