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Tuesday: Snow, hail, thunder and gales

A wintry set up is finally pushing in across New Zealand and will affect all of the country at some point, predicts

Tuesday’s forecast covers most of the winter extremes with the North Island in the firing line for the majority of the rough weather.

But as with most of the systems that have affected us so far this winter rough weather conditions are again likely to be isolated.

As the cold change swoops in across the afternoon and evening it’s expected to create a few isolated thunderstorms across Auckland, Northland and Bay of Plenty before rain sets in across the evening.

Hail showers are also possible with the cold change as it moves in for those northern centres.

In some parts of Northland this week highs will be down by nearly 10 degrees compared to highs recorded in the past 10 days.

Further south and the wintry change brings a different set of rough weather. says snow will fall to low levels on Central Plateau and predicts the Desert Road may be closed later on Tuesday or overnight and into Wednesday.  Waiouru’s high on Wednesday is 3 degrees according to

Snow, heavy at times, will also fall on the Gisborne and Hawkes Bay ranges, with a period of heavy snow also predicted for the Tararua’s and Mt Taranaki.

Eastern areas, from Napier to Whangarei will take a beating with the temperatures.  Highs in these areas will be between 8 and 13 degrees on Wednesday and Thursday. says the ‘feels like’ temperature, which takes into account the wind chill factor, will make exposed places at the warmest time of the day feel closer to 5 degrees in Hawkes Bay and around 9 in Northland. says the ‘feels like’ temperature in Wellington on Wednesday will be around 4 while Auckland will be around 9.

Strong winds will push into the lower North Island with a biting southerly reaching gale force at times hitting the Capital during Tuesday and strengthening overnight and into Wednesday.

Strong to gale force south to south east winds will affect numerous North Island regions from Central Plateau down to Wellington and up the eastern ranges of the main divide. 

In the South Island that cold change will be much drier but it’s still going to bring a burst of snow flurries to the hills around Dunedin on Tuesday night and into Wednesday.  In Queenstown it will be even colder but drier – while a few flurries are possible in the town itself overall precipitation levels will be fairly low as a ridge of high air pressure moves in.

In Christchurch snow is expected on Banks Peninsula with a possibility of flurries on the Port Hills overnight Tuesday/Wednesday morning.  Conditions should ease on Wednesday as higher air pressure builds.  It will be a bleak two days in Christchurch with rain in the city and strong cold southerlies. 

With the power infrastructure so fragile in the earthquake hit city recommends residents have back up heating that doesn’t use electricity such as gas heaters.

Driving Conditions

Snow is expected to affect a number of highways in the South Island and one in the North Island.  Heavy snow is possible on the Porters Pass, Lewis Pass and Arthurs Pass with light snow possibly on the hills around Dunedin and other high altitude highways in the deep south.  You’ll find current MetService Road Snowfall Warnings here.

In the North Island predicts snow for State Highway One, The Desert Road from Tuesday afternoon until Thursday morning, with heaviest falls expected from late Tuesday until noon Wednesday.  Winds may be severe gale at times too which could create blizzard conditions at times.

Gale force southerlies are also expected over the ranges of the lower North Island up to Central Plateau.  With the wind direction being south easterly for many areas this could make driving hazardous in western areas from Kapiti to Horowhenua and Manawatu, mainly for high sided vehicles and motorbikes.

Meanwhile isolated hail showers associated with some heavy showers in the afternoon or evening could create brief, localised, slippery conditions in Northland, Auckland and Bay of Plenty across Tuesday afternoon and evening.



Guest on 27/06/2011 10:50pm

How about the big freeze headed our way mid next week? Any predictions for this?

WW Forecast Team on 27/06/2011 11:20pm

Widespread frosts expected across the South Island later this week and into the weekend with frosts moving into the North Island from Waikato southwards.

Next week we aren’t convinced of a big freeze – we see a strong, cold, sou’west flow across the country which could bring colder weather but not brutal.

We’re monitoring the various models and at this stage we don’t agree with all of them, so we’ll update again in about two days.

– WW

celtickiwi on 27/06/2011 8:50pm

I can feel the cold moving in as I type. Awwww . . . better get the fire going, bacon bone soup on the stove – and the bread buns mixed and rising. Mmmmmm this is real snuggle down weather with fluffy blankets and hot chocolate.

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