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Fridge door slowly opening

There’s still quite a bit of discussion about the wintry blast set to hit much of the country over the next 48 hours.

Where will snow fall? How much will there be? DIt’s not winter yet is it? Does this mean winter will be neverending then?

At the moment southerners are bearing the brunt of it but higher parts of the North Island could also see snow down to relatively low levels with the chance of reasonable falls.

Southland and Otago have seen conditions certainly vary inside the last 24 hours and today and tomorrow will see temperatures having a real edge to them as snow levels fall very low.

“it’ll be close to the freezing mark for some places in the south today and Tuesday” says weather analyst Richard Green.
“Icy winds combined with sleety snow showers will make roads marginal at best in some cases, possibly either today/tomorrow or both days”.

West Coasters are also seeing quite an active time with wintry conditions and temperatures also have dropped markedly.

Canterbury today could see some heavy showers later today or tonight with a blustery sou’ west change and a rumble or two of thunder may cross Banks Peninsula.

As far as snow is concerned for Christchurch during Tuesday weather analyst Aaron Wilkinson says “The air definitely looks cold enough for sea level snow I would think. This is a typical cold winter blast, no warm advection here for this Christchurch event and precipitation levels have even picked up slightly on the latest data through.

It will still be fairly coastal although there’s a chance showers could move a little more inland now on Tuesday afternoon / evening”.

WeatherWatch sees a risk of snow flurries up to 30-50 kilometres west of the city.

“One thing is that there could be a few sunny spells about on Tuesday morning and there is a chance that this may lift the temperature a little.
The showers move in to Chch more about midday through till evening, so because of a possible temperature spike, flurries may not occur till late afternoon perhaps (so when temperatures naturally start dropping away) then not hang around long before clearing later in the evening” Mr Wilkinson says.

So will there be snow on the ground for Christchurch by the end of Tuesday?
” We could see 1 or 2 cm about the city maybe. If the ground is a bit wet this can cause snow to not be able to settle well so could be another factor reducing possible settling amounts, so while snow may fall to sea level there is a slim chance not much may settle but up to 1 or 2cm is possible by the looks late afternoon / evening”.

Dunedin appears to be in line for higher snow amounts overall and other areas exposed to the south across Otago and Southland could also see some reasonable totals. 




Peter on 26/05/2013 8:56pm

We are at 420 metres here just out side of Taupo. Would you say we can expect a bit of hail and sleet in a few passing showers over the next day or two ? Tuesday night looks like a possibility to me (low of -2). I guess it depends on moisture levels this far inland, also. Looking at the temps expected for Tuesday in Taupo, I would have thought a bit of sleet and/or hail might be likely ? Also the western side of the lake near Taumarunui may have snow to around the 600 metre mark, what are your thoughts on snow levels over the central plateau? I must say, I was a bit surprised to see a forecast freezing level down to 700 metres tomorrow for Tongariro National Park, this early on, (before Winter).

WW Forecast Team on 26/05/2013 9:28pm

Hi Peter

It is early at this time of the year and the outskirts of Taupo could see a few wintry showers with the snow level and freezing levels being quite low for the time of year around the Central Plateau.
It’s difficult to get an exact guage on it but 400-500 metres wouldn’t be out of the question perhaps.
The wind will certainly make it feel very cold.

The moisture is the key as the temperatures certainly look very chilly. Sometimes with such cold conditions the moisture can evaporate somewhat.

Thanks for getting in touch and stay warm!



Peter on 26/05/2013 10:02pm

Thanks for that, I will let you know if we see any sleet or snow flurries at our place, in passing showers, over the next day or two ! Yep – have got the firewood stacked up here next to the Kent fire, ready to go !


michael s on 26/05/2013 7:19pm

How low would you expect the snow to fall around wellington and the eastern hill and how much would you expect. Im driving over the rimutakas wed morning. Do you expect it to be open?

WW Forecast Team on 26/05/2013 7:59pm

Hi Michael

Tuesday night and Wednesday morning could see falls over the Rimutakas and perhaps Wednesday morning the highest chance.
Difficult to give calculations exactly but down to 300-400 metres or slightly lower is a possibility.




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