For the next three days, low pressure systems will approach and pass across NZ. This will lead to heavy snow in the South Island mountains and hill county, heavy rain and isolated thunder into coastal parts of the western North Island and heavy rain around the South Island too.
After this weekend a cold blast, with Antarctic connections will spread north. The bulk of this energy will be just to our east but it will drop temperatures in many regions, drive in big swells to Cook Strait and bring another dusting of snow into the South Island. Wind chill at times over the next few days will be tough on newborn lambs and calves.
As we said several days ago, this cold change next week won’t be so big further north. For example Wellington, which is around 14 degrees on Sunday, drops to 10 degrees on Wednesday. It’s unlikely to be cold enough to bring snow to the Desert Road to any serious level at this stage (although overnight it may be more possible). Auckland goes from warmer than average highs of 17 today to around 14 or even 13 next week.
On Tuesday Queenstown Airport and some South Island Alpine passes may have some brief snow as southern NZ is clipped by the polar southerly. Large swells will also build on Wednesday around Cook Strait and may affect some ferry services, but not yet locked in.
Here’s some info for you:
- Up to 25 cm / 12 h of snowfall is partially expected over high elevation area between the West Coast and Canterbury from Saturday noon to Sunday midnight.
- 30 cm / 24 h or more of accumulated snow is widely expected on Saturday above 200 to 400m across the South Island.
- 100 cm / 48 h or more of accumulated snow is widely expected until Sunday at higher elevations and may impact some alpine highways.
- Isolated Thunderstorms are possible in several areas of the coastal North Island until Monday.
- Heavy rain (mainly in Waikato, Taranaki & inland Manawatu-Wanganui):
- 100 mm / 72 h or more of accumulated precipitation is partially expected until Monday.
- At Sea / Marine:
- northwesterly then westerly wind will blow strongly over coastal North Island from Sunday to Tuesday, and
- SW winds will blow strongly over coastal NZ on Tuesday & Wednesday thanks to a storm well south of NZ. Hence, a caution for waves is needed as follows:
- Up to 6m of Significant Wave Height (SWH) is expected over Auckland and Northland from Sunday afternoon to Tuesday morning on western beaches.
- 6 m or more of SWH is expected over Southland and Otago from Tuesday noon to Wednesday noon.
- Up to 6 m of SWH is expected over Marlborough and Wellington (around Cook Strait) on Wednesday afternoon.
NOON TODAY / SATURDAY: