Your web browser (Internet Explorer) is out of date. Some things will not look right and things might not work properly. Please download an up-to-date and free browser from here.

Snow Storm – Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

UPDATED 6:47am Tuesday — Some have had snow, others have hail and gales and some still have clear skies and light winds. We’ve literally been asked hundreds of questions about the snow storm – so we’ll do our best at answering the main questions below!

Will it snow where I live? 
We have an extensive list of towns and cities which we think will get snow – click here to read the list.

I’m travelling over the next few days – how will this affect my travel plans? 
We have extensive travel information for road, air and sea – click here to read.

We live in an area expected to get snow, but the skies are clear right now – can you please explain!?
Snow showers are just like rain showers – not everyone will get them and there will be some areas under snow warnings which may not receive any snow either.  Snow warnings are generic across regions and local geography can mean some pockets are completely protected – it doesn’t mean it’s the same story 20kms away.  Like the July snow storm, places like Timaru were sheltered due to the wind direction while snow fell in Dunedin and Christchurch.  Snow warnings have to be widespread – and farmers needs to be prepared for the worst likely scenario.

How much snow will I get – and where are the Snow Warnings? 
There are just far too many variables to give snow fall predictions for everyone – all we can say is that the entire southern and eastern coastline of the South Island – and the entire lower half of the North Island – is at significant risk of snow, especially Canterbury.  Some areas may not get very much today – despite having a high risk for snow – tomorrow conditions look more promising for widespread, heavier snow.  Keep up to date with the Metservice warnings here.

Is this bigger than the July storm? 
Significantly bigger.

We just had a brief bit of snow and now the sky is clear – was that it!? 
It’s important to remember that this system is very big.  It isn’t just one band of rain/snow – it is dozens of “waves” or “surges” of showery weather – with rain/snow in them.  Clear skies doesn’t mean that it’s over just yet.

When will the storm peak? 
We believe it will peak on Tuesday for most places, easing a little for far north, far west and far south regions by the end of Tuesday.  It will ease in the east during Wednesday and Thursday but wintry weather will continue (but not severe) in the east and about Wellington until the weekend – when a high rolls in.

When will it ease? 
Conditions will start to ease in the west and deep south later on Tuesday with conditions improving elsewhere on Wednesday but linger along the eastern coastline of the North Island from Wellington up to Gisborne.  By Thursday and Friday the winds should finally ease – but widespread severe frosts may then become an issue spreading in from the south west – places like Central Otago may have overnight lows well below -10C.

Will it snow in Auckland? (As exclusively predicted on Sunday) 
We have confidence of snow on the Waitakere Ranges on Monday afternoon, night and early Tuesday.  We expect snow to 200m with the odd isolated light flurry to 100m.  While the chances are low we cannot rule out the chance of a snow flurry in the CBD.  Sleet is expected in the city and hail too, especially from late Monday to early Tuesday.  For more details read our Auckland forecast page.

Where else can we get your information?  Like us on Facebook by clicking here, or follow us on Twitter.






Guest on 15/08/2011 10:21am

will the snow arrive in Dannevirke tomorrow morning or tonight?

Nicola on 15/08/2011 1:27am

Hi Phil

A couple of months back we exchanged a couple of emails about a future glossary of terms that you might be developing and you asked for specific examples of things to include.  

Any chance you could define the differences between snow, sleet and hail, and perhaps something brief about the different conditions that form each?

And could you include something about what snow clouds look like and how they differ from rain clouds?  Actually perhaps something about all the different clouds – I remember learning about them in intermediate school but that was a long time ago!  

Thanks, love your work, as always you’re doing a great job of making weather interesting!


WW Forecast Team on 15/08/2011 10:29am

Hi Nicola – yep I still have your email in my inbox and will look at it closely once things FINALLY quieten down!  Thanks for your support!

– Phil

Guest on 15/08/2011 1:10am

Just hailing in chch, is there really going to be a large dump of snow from here on in??

Mandy on 15/08/2011 12:24am

It’s snowing in Te Kauwhata and Maramarua

Raewyn on 14/08/2011 11:37pm

Well believe it or not we had a very brief period of snow flurries in Greerton, Tauranga.  Sunny now but bitter cold.  Wind has settled for now too.

Raewyn on 15/08/2011 1:51am

Reports in local news paper is that there were snow flurries in Downtown Tauranga this morning as well as surrounding areas.  Photos on shows snow in Pyes Pa and Oropi.

celtickiwi on 15/08/2011 3:31am

That’s amazing Raewyn. At Papamoa we got broken up cloud – predominently sunny skies and cold wind – I LIVE IN THE WRONG SUBURB!!!! Cry

Rhonda on 14/08/2011 11:31pm

Just had a call from my daughter saying it has just snowed in Helensville Parakai area.

Will send pic if its a good one. Thanks

View more comments

Related Articles