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Snow clouds building south of Ashburton.  Photo taken from behind the Radio Network building by our Ashburton Weather Watch reporter Gareth Thomas.

We’re in for a cold week – pretty much everywhere across New Zealand as a burst of wintry weather kicks in.

The low – described by the Weather Watch Centre as being  the size of Australia – is still trying to clear New Zealand.  “As we predicted last week this low is large and is still affecting us.  As we go into Monday we’re seeing the tail of this low moving across us – and that means cold southerlies” says head weather analyst Philip Duncan.

“Last Tuesday we made suggestions that light snow may fall in coastal parts of Canterbury and today we continue to stand by that forecast”.

Mr Duncan says a weak cold front will flick up the South Island’s east coast this afternoon.  “It’s not going to deliver a huge amount of moisture but the odd snow flurry or hail shower is definitely possible from Dunedin to Christchurch today – and for places that don’t receive any moisture it will be incredibly cold”.

Cold air is also spreading over the entire country with many towns struggling to make it into the teens this week.  “Day time highs in the South Island and up to Wellington will mostly be around 7 or 8 for the next few days.  Other centres in the North will just scrape into double digits with even Aucklanders feeling the pinch”.   He says Auckland should reach between 12 and 14 across this week but with a cold south westerly developing today it will feel more like 8 or 9 in the wind for the next couple of days.

Some regions should also see plenty of sun this week.  Eastern parts of Northland and Coromandel, Bay of Plenty, Waikato, Rotorua, Gisborne, Nelson, will have a mostly sunny but cold week – with a hint of frosts returning.

The next low and associated cold front are expected to arrive during Friday and Saturday to the nation’s west coast.


tony on 18/08/2008 4:19am

The predictions were wrong…no snow here in ChCh or anywhere surrounding. A couple of light hail showers, but nothing untoward for this time of year.

This ‘storm’ is well and truly in a teacup

WW Forecast Team on 18/08/2008 11:31am

Hi Tony, appreciate your feedback.

This evening very light snow falls have been falling around Christchurch (as predicted by us last week!).  Also have heavier snow on the Port Hills and Banks Peninsula and a dusting of snow at Cust.

You should’ve had more faith in us! 

Thanks for your feedback – we have a "we got it wrong" policy, which means if we are challenged at being wrong, we’re happy to "please explain".

Many thanks for your comments,

Kind Regards

The Weather Watch Team

tony on 18/08/2008 9:22pm

Fair chop to you, well done I think this one surprised even the most fervent snow fans in the end.

I’m picking the possibility of a further snowfall to low levels this weekend if the models are to be beleived.

WW Forecast Team on 19/08/2008 2:57am

Hey Tony,

Cheers for the feedback!  Yep, the next system has the potential to suck more cold air up over the South Island.  You guys must be getting a bit sick of it now?

I’m in Auckland – it’s cold and wet up here!


Philip Duncan

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