A front due overnight Friday and into Saturday from the Southern Ocean will bring cold weather to many regions. Overall amounts of precipitation (ie, rain, snow, sleet etc) from this system shouldn’t be too large. That means where snow will fall it is unlikely to cause many issues, apart from in the far south of the country.
WeatherWatch.co.nz weather analyst Aaron Wilkinson says the first front bringing the start of the cold air will actually hit Southland on Friday afternoon but the coldest air won’t arrive until night time.”Snow is likely to fall to 400 metres in Fiordland, Southland and southern parts of coastal Otago from Friday night through to Saturday afternoon then clearing”.
The southern ski fields about the Queenstown area will likely get some snow during this bout of cold weather during the same time frame and should be a nice top up as the end of the season draws near. North Island ski fields will get a dusting on Saturday also.
Snow levels will be above most farms still in lambing, but wind chills will be in the low single digits at times – however the system is short lived and likely to cause very few stock losses.
As the cold change gets into Canterbury there will not be much moisture left in the front and while some showers will pass through on Saturday amounts are not likely to be high, any snow flurries will stick above 700m.
Mr Wilkinson says the biggest concern with this system will more likely be gales first coming in ahead of the front on Friday from the northwest. “From Inland Otago to the east and up through to Cook Strait will be affected on Friday then on Saturday strong cold west to southwest winds will move in about the Southland coast and the Catlins then easing there at night. Frosts will also develop in inland areas of Otago and Canterbury on Saturday night – which will be of concern to growers”.
It will get quite cold about some sheltered North Island areas later on Saturday and into Sunday morning however it may just escape frosts. Orchardists are advised to monitor conditions closely as far north as Waikato and Bay of Plenty however frosts may be made even less likely by incoming northerlies ahead of a Tasman Sea low and front on Monday.