The first pulse of polar air is set to hit the country early next week with the risk of hail, thunder, sleet and snow for parts of the country.
Temperatures look to be very chilly and with added windchill it’s going to be a real taste of winter.
The jury is still out on where and when the snowy, southerly blast will push through exactly but Southland, much of Otago and exposed areas of Canterbury could see snow down to near sea level.
Christchurch has the chance of fleeting snowy showers we believe but Dunedin looks more probable.
Invercargill and Gore has a reasonable risk of snow flurries and also thundery showers but Queenstown and Alexandra are looking at a 70% chance of snowy conditions.
“It all depends on the moisture levels “says weather analyst Richard Green.”The air temperatures look very cold for places such as Canterbury southwards but it’s the amount of rain or snow and the wind direction that will be the difference between a few rain showers or snow showers for Cantabs”.
If snow does fall it seems that showers won’t be overly heavy for Canterbury as a whole but some more significant totals are possible across Southland and Otago.
“It’s still early days to make a call about snow but the data has been consistent lately however it becomes crunch time during this weekend whether the event will be noticeable or not” says Mr Green.
Temperatures appear to struggle to stay out of single figure for two to three days on end for southerners and the biting wind is likely to make it feel closer to sub zero levels.
“Inland areas of Otago and Southland could see the coldest wintry air with sleet and snow for a couple of days. It’ll take its time in getting colder but as each front passes through from Sunday temperatures should drop bit by bit” says Richard Green.
“It’s early for this sort of event but not unheard of and frosts following this system could be fairly severe in places for a night or two” he said.
WeatherWatch believes the North Island won’t escape the cold either with snow possibly dropping as low as 300-500 metres for a time over hilly areas across the east and south.
Alpine passes in the South Island, the Tararuas and Central Plateau, including the Desert Road, could be vulnerable to the snow and ice.
WeatherWatch will continue to monitor the situation across the weekend.
on 24/05/2013 12:50am
I have been watching the models for this possible Snow Event over the last few days and it seems to boil down to the wind direction on Monday/Tuesday.
I more SW flow will only see [low level] snow in the deep south, but if it tends more SE then we may see enough moisture on the eastern side to get snow to low levels in Christchurch and possibly a flake or two on the higher peaks around Wellington.
I’m hoping the models are off and it goes South Eastern – if I have to be cold, it would be nice to have some pretty snow topped hills to look at 🙂