A blast of Antarctic southerlies next week will take aim for Southland, Otago, Canterbury and even Wellington and Wairarapa says WeatherWatch.co.nz.
While moisture amounts and those directly affected varies from region to region (and even within each region) the blast of air is certainly one to take note of as it will be cold. Highs of around 4 or 5 degrees look common place for a few days next week in the deep south.
On an international standard this isn’t a major snow storm – but it could produce heavy snow to low levels for those rural areas most exposed to the southerly blast – and any snow in any of our main centres can be hugely disruptive.
Moisture levels and the South Island mountains mean some of you may have polar air – but clear skies or no snow at all. Others not far from you may get heavy flurries which settle – due to the wind flow, geography and patchy hit and miss nature of the incoming snow.
Southland will be exposed Monday and Tuesday, with eastern areas on Tuesday and Wednesday and the lower North Island and eastern North Island most exposed on Wednesday.
We don’t consider this a significant ‘storm’ -but we do consider this a significant Antarctic blast of air and disruptive snow to sea level is possible in Otago, Southland and perhaps Canterbury.
The details at this early stage:
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday sees snow to low levels for Southland / Otago. Sea level snow is possible across most of those days but the most likely period is on Tuesday and early Wednesday morning. 5 to 10cm possible to sea level and more at higher levels. Coastal Otago sees less precipitation then inland areas and Southland. But showers do look sustained from Tuesday evening and through Wednesday to sea level, 5 to 10cm possible to sea level. Travel plans look likely to be affected in Southland and Otago.
Christchurch may see snow to sea level and the most likely day for that is Wednesday at some point, based on the latest data. 5 to 10cm is possible in Christchurch itself and slightly more over the course of the 3 days about inland areas. Banks Peninsula may get some of the heaviest flurries being more exposed to the moisture and Antarctic wind flow out at sea.
Either way it’s looking cold – even if you don’t get snow.
On Wednesday and Thursday the coldest air reaches some parts of the North Island, the shower activity is mainly patchy but the air is cold, snow flurries to low levels likely about Wellington, up the east coast and about the Central Plateau – so a few highways could be affected.
TO SUM UP
This isn’t the same as the ‘warm advection’ snow event we had a couple weeks ago – this air is colder, so snow levels will be lower – but being colder means the air is also drier and has less snow in it. More people are exposed to snow this time around due to the lower levels – but the amounts of snow will be patchy with some people getting none at all. Think of it as showers rather than widespread rain.
Clearly in July the weather can change quickly – so we’ll fine tune all of this and be even more specific on Sunday.
WeatherWatch.co.nz writes detailed forecasts for NZ’s biggest main centres. Here are our latest forecasts for Christchurch, Dunedin and Wellington for next week: (app users, select Forecasts tab)
on 3/07/2015 5:59am
Hi. How much snow expected to ground level in quenstown?
on 3/07/2015 2:51pm
Probably not all that much to be honest but there should be some. Overnight Sunday and Monday morning then mostly clearing. Then there might be a few further flurries on Wednesday morning before clearing.
3 to 5cm possible, no more then 5 to 10cm more then likely during this cold outbreak although ski fields higher up will benefit of course.