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Snow falls in parts of Dunedin as Southern Ocean storm sends rough weather into NZ (+Maps & Photos)

Winter is taking a firm grip of the South Island tonight and is heading northwards. The main pulse of Antarctic air is now peaking in Otago with snow flurries at sea level in Dunedin being reported to this evening.

With heavy showers moving through and a temperature of only +1C in Dunedin it’s not surprising – and more snow flurries are expected tonight.

Then colder weather is moving into Canterbury tonight and snow flurries are possible, especially closer to the coast where the showers are more likely. Accumulation is unlikely to be high and the showers are fast moving, caught up in gale force southerlies.

Snow showers – just like rain showers – are hit and miss in their very nature.

The gigantic storm south east of NZ is working in tandem with a powerful high pressure system near Tasmania to produce our cold change. The two powerful air pressure systems are dredging up polar air from Antarctica and directly into New Zealand.

As the cold air surges northwards tonight and overnight it brings with it some chance of snow in Christchurch city, most likely well after midnight and before dawn (or around dawn Tuesday). It’s hard to know if snow will fall in Christchurch as just snow, or mixed in with rain – or fall just a few metres short of reaching the ground. Coastal areas in NZ are notoriously hard to lock in with borderline snow events like this.

Wellington will be impacted by bitterly cold southerly gales and possibly hail and sleet on Tuesday morning. Snow isn’t so likely in Wellington city but we can’t rule out a few isolated flurries higher up on the hills and higher suburbs – but very isolated and won’t settle.

The storm in the Southern Ocean – which due to the shape of the air pressure looks like it has a weird ‘face’ when you add isobars – is churning up dangerous swells which will also impact Wellington’s south coast over the coming days.

“Went out to put more food out for the birds an hour ago. Still snowing steadily 😁 (on a hill in dunners” From Jasper Diong via our Facebook Page.
Brockville – From Mick Hall via the WeatherWatchNZ Facebook page.
Brockville – Emma Rells, via the WeatherWatchNZ Facebook page.
Brockville, taken by Jayden Simpson – shared via the WeatherWatchNZ Facebook page.
Belleknowes, Dunedin taken by Din Cascaño-Goonetilleke – shared via the WeatherWatchNZ Facebook page.
Leesh N Nic – shared via the WeatherWatchNZ Facebook page.
Helensburgh, taken by Renee Chappell – – shared via the WeatherWatchNZ Facebook page.


Nigel on 28/06/2021 9:34am

Haha that pressure system looks out of it.. maybe we should name it stormy stormface

WW Forecast Team on 28/06/2021 10:15am

Hi Nigel! Love the name – brilliant. There are some great responses on twitter to it too (you need to click on the heading of the tweet to see them) :

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