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Polar blast – the latest

The polar blast moving up the country is running a little later than first thought with it pushing in to Wellington as we update this story.

Yesterday backed off from the prediction of heavy snow affecting the South Island and this morning reports are coming in of only very light snow falls across Canterbury.   

Current weather data used by the Weather Watch Centre shows snow may now be relatively light over the North Island however air temperatures are still expected to be dramatically low across many areas in both islands.

Heavy snow is still expected around the Desert Road today.

A large high in the west is pushing the ‘worst’ of the weather further east, with it currently halfway between the mainland and the Chatham Islands.

With the front moving in to the North Island this hour conditions are expected to change quickly.  Currently southerly gales gusting close to 120km/h are affecting the Wellington region and it’s just 4 degrees in Upper Hutt.  Snow flakes are possible in Wellington over the next hour or two.

Eastern and central parts of the North Island are much further east than the South Island so we still expect a period of heavy snow in these areas today.

However the most severe part of the system has now passed the South Island with weather watchers in the south saying the cold snap has been a fizzer with very little snow.


Phil Smith, Levin on 31/05/2009 3:30am

Well its certainly cold here in Levin @ just 5 dec but no really low snow . I think the metsevice has got it wrong again, But hey it made good tv

David on 30/05/2009 11:13pm

Had a bit of sleet this morning, and currently 5 deg with a fresh to strong SSW; long sunny periods with the odd weak TCu/Cb shwr; a light dusting of snow on Banks Peninsular only. (unfortunately!)…nothing on the Port Hills…Rainfall for the 24 hrs to 9am 1.6mm… Cheers

Hadley on 30/05/2009 11:11pm

Am currently in the Rangitikei town of Marton situated between Palmerston North and Wanganui and was expecting to see some fairly cold conditions. However it is currently 6 degrees with a 1kph southerly and is clearing from the south. Despite Metservice issuing snow warnings for all south western and central areas of North Island, I would be suprised if snow is falling anywhere near here! Has it been a total fizzer? Love the new site layout though! Thanks, Hadley

Guest on 30/05/2009 10:50pm

The metservice is still saying chance of snow here in south canty on their website, yeah right, we got nada, zero, zip in the way of snow. The same as it was 10 days ago when they were warning us to be prepared for three days of isolation from the snow. Talk about boy crying wolf, and where were the warnings for the historical dump of 06? Anyone could see the way the souwest “polar blast” was swinging out to the east last night on the TV weather it was only going to tickle us hear in South Canty yet Jim was still warning us. At least on weatherwatch last night they were providing a more acurate picture of what was happening.

WW Forecast Team on 30/05/2009 11:04pm

Thanks very much for the support of our news service.  Obviously New Zealand is a very narrow land mass for systems coming in from the north or south.  We also thought the snow would be heavier but the system, as you said, was quite clearly too far to the east.  Could be some snow on the Chatham Islands today though! 

Southern Canterbury should see ‘wintry’ weather for the next 48 hours but certainly the "worst" is over.


The Weather Watch Team

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