A break in the weather today and mainly settled as a ridge of high pressure moves in, just a few morning showers clearing about the North Island. Wednesday marks the start of a cold outbreak over the South Island which may bring heavy snow to the Canterbury and Otago high country. Thursday continues the cold trend over the South Island with heavy snow for the eastern high country, gradually easing though.
White – A frosty start for many South Island regions, especially inland, where parts of inland South Canterbury and inland Otago could start the day on -5, or even -6 degrees Celsius in some isolated spots.
Blue – Rain for the West Coast of the South Island may be heavy in the morning then easing afternoon. From afternoon rain becoming fairly persistent about Southland, Otago and perhaps parts of South Canterbury. Overnight rain pushes into the remainder of the east of the South Island with a chance of a few heavy falls, more so inland. For the North Island we see heavy rain move onto the southwestern corner of the Island in the afternoon then pushing north in the evening.
White – While a large area of the inner South Island is covered with a snow highlight area, snow will hit different parts of the South Island at different times due to the complex nature of a pair of low pressure systems moving over the South Island during the day. It must be said that what is forecast now could change a little as a subtle move in a front could result in a fairly large difference come Wednesday for a few areas. At this stage snow is looking to fall to around 600m about Southland, Otago and parts of South / Mid Canterbury then pushing northwards overnight. Snow lowers overnight to 400 or perhaps even 300m Mid Canterbury southwards. Snow is looking to be heavy in the high country for most although not becoming heavy for North Canterbury till overnight.
Blue – As a front clears Northland rain may be heavy in the morning before easing. The top of the South Island may also see some heavy rain then easing from afternoon.
White – Snow for much of the east of the South Island above the levels mentioned below, easing in the evening. The heaviest falls are mainly about inland Canterbury / Marlborough. Otago and especially Southland, while included in the area may only see light flurries, however if any falls it could be fairly low down. So snow to 300m about Mid and South Canterbury, low levels about Southland and Otago (200 to 100m). Snow flurries about North Canterbuy starting out around 500m then lowering to 300m by evening. Snow about Marlborough to 500m lowers to 400m by evening.
– Please note, the idea behind this update is to focus on the main weather highlights, which is why not all regions are mentioned.
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– Aaron Wilkinson, WeatherWatch.co.nz