– POLICE WARN SNOW IS “IMPOSSIBLE TO TRAVEL ON”
– COLD AIR STRAIGHT FROM ANTARCTICA
– AIR PRESSURE PLUMMETS
The deep low that brought heavy rain to some parts of New Zealand yesterday is about to intensify and bring severe gales and heavy snow from now until at least Sunday. TRN’s Head weather Analyst Philip Duncan says it’s going to affect quite a lot of people. “The police have confirmed heavy snow has fallen in Alexandra, Queenstown and right up to Lindis Pass”. Police describe the snow in the towns as impossible for cars to drive on and even four by four vehicles with chains are having trouble moving.
In Invercargill it’s the calm before the storm. Very little wind and cold grey skies will give way to sleet and even snow showers tonight or tomorrow as winds up to gale force develop. “The air pressure has plummeted this afternoon and for those who understand air pressure, 978mb is very low” says Duncan. The low air pressure means winds will be very strong and the air unstable, leading to heavy showers laced with hail and thunder.
A number of snow warnings have been issued by MetService for the South. Mr Duncan says snow will likely also affect Dunedin and the motorway could receive decent snow falls.
Further north and gale force westerlies are expected to pound southern Hawke’s Bay and Wairarapa tonight and in to tomorrow. “The isobars are packed very closely. Winds may reach 130km/h in exposed areas according to MetService” says Duncan.
And in northern regions bands of heavy showers are likely through Friday and Saturday with isolated thunderstorms and even hail possible. “Aucklanders will certainly feel a nip in the air as the ‘feels like’ temperature on Saturday may be mostly around 7 or 8 degrees”.
CLARIFICATION: In an earlier story we said today was the shortest day. Tomorrow is in fact the shortest day this year. Andrew Buckingham from Auckland’s Stardome Observatory says “The time does vary slightly each year. Solstice can range anywhere between the 20th & 23rd of the month but normally on the 21st or 22nd. This year the Winter Solstice is at 6:08am on 22nd June NZ time”.