Antarctic air is quickly moving up New Zealand slicing temperatures and bringing snow flurries, hail and heavy showers to a number of regions.
WeatherWatch.co.nz rates the system as “an inconvenience” rather than severe with snow expected to affect roads in both islands.
The Desert Road may well be affected by snow during Wednesday. Head weather analyst Philip Duncan says conditions will be bitterly cold across the Central Plateau. “Waiouru’s high for Wednesday is just 3 or 4 degrees with snow setting in during the day. It’s quite possible the road could be closed at some point between early Wednesday and Thursday morning”.
Mr Duncan predicts light snow flurries will be possible on the hills around Taupo and possibly as far north as the Kaimai Ranges and Gisborne ranges. “It won’t be heavy but perhaps early risers on Thursday may see some snow dusting the tree tops”.
In the South Island roads around Dunedin and Otago may be affected by snow and hail.
The Antarctic air combined with snow on the ranges in both islands means New Zealand will be cold for the next 2 days.
“6s, 7s and 8s will be common maximum temperatures in the South Island during Wednesday and Thursday with the North Island mostly between 9 and 12 on Thursday. Even Auckland will struggle to reach the teens on Thursday as that southerly spreads from the snow covered Central Plateau northwards”.
The east coast of both islands are expected to be bitterly cold for a few days yet however warmer weather should start to return on Friday to western areas as a large high moves in.
Mr Duncan says the high is almost certainly going to bring big frosts to parts of New Zealand over a number of days starting on Friday. “While central and western areas will see the sun return towards Friday and the weekend the clear skies and light winds mean frosts will move in. It will perhaps feel more wintry over the next 4 or 5 days rather than Autumnal”.
on 20/05/2009 9:09am
Did I see written somewhere that Tauranga had 16C today, not here, we never got above 12C in Greerton, Tauranga, now at 8.50 pm the outside temperature is reading 6C. That’s quite chilly in anybody’s book! I have my heater on in here in my office and my coat on!!!
Today during the late afternoon we had a burst of torrential rain which turned to hail and lasted for about 15 mins. Then it dropped to 9C. Never really warmed up much after that.
The trees are magnificent here, brilliant colours. Growing up in England I am used to cold Autumns so it feels like being back there, but also so glad I am living here in this fantastic country. Best place on Earth.