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Short, sharp, cold blast arriving Sunday (+ETAs)

Another short and sharp wintry snap is about to hit with snow falling potentially to sea level for a time – but don’t get your hopes up if you’re planning to build a snowman.

Latest data used by shows that yet again coastal centres in the South Island will be at the borderline mark for snow. 

About Southland and Otago things will kick off as early as late Saturday evening. Snow flurries to low levels (100/200m) then clearing late Sunday. There is always the chance flurries could reach sea level at times but it’s a bit touch and go, so the use of the term “low levels” is more appropriate.

About inland Southland and coastal Otago 5 to 10cm looks possible with 15cm being an upper limit. Queenstown may get a few flurries during Sunday but snow accumulations would be no more then 1 to 3cm.

Click here for Dunedin’s forecast

It’s imporant to note that while the air is very cold with this system, the South Island isn’t likely to see a lot of precipitation.

By Sunday morning and into the afternoon the cold change pushes into Canterbury, clearing around midday Monday.

For South and Mid Canterbury snow may fall to the same levels as last time but it isn’t looking like a great deal will fall, perhaps 3 to 5cm at most.

Areas tucked in and quite sheltered may only see a flurry or two as the front moves north (Tekapo for example, while they got a lot of snow last time, this time they may get nothing but a few flurries and then gone).

The hills of North Canterbury could get 5 to 10cm above 100 / 200m. 15cm being an upper limit.

Click here for the detailed Christchurch forecast

In the North Island and snow will affect the Wellington ranges later in the day with snow possible on the Rimutake Ranges highway by late Sunday and into Monday. 

See Wellington’s detailed forecast here

As the southerly runs into the North Island it pushes into the current low pressure system.  This could see heavy snow falling on the North Island ranges including Central Plateau, Mt Ruapehu ski fields and the Desert Road.

WeatherWatch.conz says the Desert Road will have snow, heavy at times, from Sunday to Tuesday.

Northern New Zealand will also get the cold change – but it won’t be as significant.  Auckland will cool down on Monday as the southerly moves in.  Auckland will only just make it to a double digit high on Tuesday, with 11 degrees.

Auckland’s detailed forecast can be found here plus Hamilton and Tauranga.

– By weather analyst Aaron Wilkinson



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