A deepening low off Eastland is set to bring cold weather to much of the North Island this weekend, while the South Island freezes under a large high pressure system. “Quite strong, cold, south easterly winds are going to drive temperatures down over most of the North Island. Heavy snow is expected on the Hawke’s Bay ranges…that will cool the winds further before they reach places like Tauranga, Hamilton and Auckland” says Head Weather Analyst Philip Duncan. “More rain is also on the way for drought affected farmers, although bitterly cold wind chills will certainly halt any grass growth for the next few days”
The weather is so cold MetService has been prompted to issue a heavy snow fall warning for the Hawke’s Bay Ranges tonight which may affect State Highway 5, the Napier Taupo road.
“Highs for many northern centres on Saturday will probably only make it to 11 or 12. Even colder in Central Plateau” says Duncan.
The South Island’s big freeze will also continue with further bitterly cold overnight lows. Many places about Central Otago have struggled to reach above 5 or 6 degrees this week with lows dropping as much as minus eight. “Overnight cloud acts as a wool blanket trapping the days warmth in…when there’s no cloud the warmth escapes and the temperature just plummets”. Lows are expected to drop to minus 5 across the region next week.
Mr Duncan says milder weather will return for the North Island next week, as a low in the Tasman moves in, bringing warmer winds by the middle or end of next week.