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Election Day: Cold enough for Snow in the deep south

Updated 7:14am — The weather forecast for New Zealand’s general election this Saturday is one of wind, rain and showers – not ideal conditions to motivate all people to get outdoors and vote – and now is adding some snow in the forecast too.

However despite the rough forecast insists most, if not all, regions will have good weather at some point across the day to get out and cast a vote.

“Unfortunately we have a big spring low crossing the country this Friday, Saturday and Sunday and it will bring a mix of gales, rain, sun and showers” says head weather analyst Philip Duncan.  “Conditions on Saturday will be a bit stormy for some, but sunny, calmer, spells will also be in the mix – it is spring afterall”.

A cold southerly change on Saturday will drop temperatures – and there is a chance snow may fall as low as 100m for a time, possibly overnight. However it’s unlikely to settle at that level with rain or showers mainly in the forecast. Even Queenstown should see a mix of rain showers and some snow in the mix – but it may not occur during daylight hours.  Latest data this morning shows temperatures perhaps a little too mild for snow to very low levels.  Our advice to FARMERS is that any heavy snow looks likely to be above 300 or 400 metres.  The weekend looks cold with conditions not warming up again until Tuesday for the deep south – it’s one to watch, but hopefully the air won’t be too cold to cause serious problems for people and livestock – we’ll keep you updated on this one.

Rain wise on election day a front will be moving up the country – bringing the bulk of the rain to western New Zealand, including Hamilton and Auckland which are likely to see frequent showers, especially in the afternoon according to current rain maps.  Some of these showers will be squally (ie, heavy with a burst of wind)

A colder southerly change will also bring rain or showers into Dunedin, Christchurch and Wellington at some point on Saturday.  It will be colder too – highs of just 10 and 11 for Dunedin and Christchurch.

Wind-wise and strong to gale force westerlies will build acros the entire country on Saturday.

Again the afternoon or evening may be worse for many regions.

“It’s still too early to lock in the best time to go out and vote but despite the wind and the rain we still see plenty of opportunities for people right over New Zealand to get out and vote this Saturday”. will provide special election forecasts on Friday and Saturday morning too, to assist with getting out at the best times.

As for severe weather – we’ll have a better idea on Friday.  We’ll bring severe weather risks to your attention – but balance those risks with the best times to get out to vote.

Of course, if you’re not wanting to go outside this Saturday early votes can now be cast.



Guest on 17/09/2014 12:21am

Hi WW, thanks for the update, is heavy snow looking likely for the Canterbury High Country above 500m? Thank you

WW Forecast Team on 17/09/2014 5:22am

Hi there

I believe you asked this question on the other article? Here is our answer again though.

“Later on Saturday southwesterlies freshen bringing
showers, some snow to 500m does look possible at this stage for inland
Canterbury (a tad lower to 400m infact) however this system is quick

1 or 2cm possible to 400m however snow may not settle,
once you get above 500m 5cm could fall then above 600m there could be
10cm. Those are the sort of figures we are dealing with at the moment.
Snow is very complicated though so +/- 3 to 5cm would be wise to take
into consideration for the amounts above right now. Only when we get to
the day before and confidence is higher can we start to be more
confident on those numbers.


John Gaul on 16/09/2014 8:20am

Not looking all that good for voter”s turnout. If it’s cold and wet, I won’t be going out to vote, sorry.

Rather stay home and sit in front of the fire.



sw on 16/09/2014 5:57pm

appathy John 😉 get the goverment you deserve.

Andrew on 16/09/2014 9:26pm

We’re going to get it anyway.

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