A cold southerly outbreak is about to spread up New Zealand bringing heavy rain, gale force winds and snow to low levels for a time. The southerly has today started to move into Southland but the main event isn’t until Thursday night and Friday for Southland and Otago, when snow may fall to “low levels” – in other words around 100 or 200m.
The good news for farmers is that low level snow shouldn’t settle for long with soil temperatures above normal for some regions and the warmer than average weather ahead of this cold event too. In fact today parts of Canterbury may reach 20 degrees, by tomorrow you can shave almost 10 degrees off that high and by Friday over 10 degrees down from today with highs possibly only in the single digits.
Snow will be heaviest in alpine areas – great for the ski fields enjoying late season snow. The cold winds plus moisture will be tough for newborn lambs though, but the good news is that it does ease by the weekend.
Rain will also be welcome in Canterbury and the North Island over Thursday and/or Friday with a large amount of farms and gardens needing some rain. Some rain will linger in the northern and eastern North Island into Saturday AM too.
Coldest day in the South Island is Friday, the coldest day in the North Island is Saturday.
This weekend a gigantic high pressure system will anchor itself over the central Tasman Sea and should remain there for a full week, before finally crossing New Zealand late next week or weekend. This high will encourage a week (next week) of south to south west winds, which will fade away at times. Next week sees a few showers otherwise most regions – if not all – are drier than average for mid October.