Updated 4:53pm Saturday — Snow flurries are forecast across a large portion of the South Island over Sunday and/or Monday and to low levels too, begging the question – will it snow in the main centres at sea level?
There is some chance that Christchurch may get snow. Borderline snow events can be a bit of a nightmare for weather forecasters trying to perfectly nail who will get snow and who will miss out but the absolute 50/50 set up for Christchurch means rain and sleet may fall, or, it may turn to snow completely and bring a blanket of white snow to the city. The set up is that close.
The high for Christchurch is forecast to be only +6C on Sunday and again on Monday but it’s the overnight temperatures and morning temperatures on Monday which may be the best chance for snow to fall, as temperatures drop to only +2C. This is right on the borderline for snow and within the margins of it happening.
Further inland and it’s more locked in. Snow flurries have a higher chance of settling (and being heavier) above 100 or 200 metres, which means a large portion of Southland, Otago and Canterbury all have snow chances.
Dunedin also has snow chances, especially in the higher elevation suburbs.
Check the snow map below as snow accumulation may not be overly high – but in NZ it doesn’t take much snow to close highways and causes issues with public transport.
Further north and snow flurries are possible around Kaikoura and WeatherWatch.co.nz is now forecasting that some of Wellington’s suburbs may get snow with the odd flake possibly getting down to sea level for a time.
Snow flurries will impact the Desert Road, the Napier-Taupo highway and all the South Island alpine routes have snow forecast. Snow on Mt Taranaki may get close to Stratford with a chance of a few flurries in the township or nearby.
Wind chill will range from -3C in coastal parts of the South Island’s east down to -15C along the eastern ranges (like Mt Hutt for example).
Wellington’s wind chill on Monday will hover around 0C all day and may dip below zero at times too.
WeatherWatch.co.nz is forecasting snow as far north as the summits of the Gisborne, Kaimai and Coromandel ranges in the upper half of the North Island.
The cold blast is short lived – but for Canterbury in particular this event could deliver some widespread snow or at the very least bring wet, cold, miserable conditions for newborn livestock.
Sunday and Monday are the peak days for cold – milder weather bounces back into NZ by mid next week.
Check the wind chill in your area by clicking on the Temperature tab at www.RuralWeather.co.nz – it shows hour by hour for the next 10 days.