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Winter arrives early across NZ

Otago Snow

Roadworkers keep the roads open around Queenstown today.  Photo / Simon Williams.

Winter has arrived early right across New Zealand as 4 of New Zealand’s largest main centres are affected by a sudden Antarctic blast.

Head weather analyst Philip Duncan says it’s not common to see all main centres being affected at the same time.  “We’re seeing Dunedin with snow on the hill suburbs, Christchurch has snow in the city this hour, Wellington with southerly gales gusting 100km/h and Auckland has just 11 degrees and hail showers”.

!BREAKING NEWS – Weather analyst Richard Green has confirmed snow in now falling in parts of Christchurch.  “It’s snowing quite heavily just 15kms inland from Christchurch where the land is a little higher but I can confirm snow is falling in Riccarton, Avonhead and other western suburbs”.   Unconfirmed reports are also coming in of sunny weather in Christchurch city itself.

Otago snowThe Desert road is open again following snow overnight but forecasters say this afternoon and evening will be very touch and go.  Philip Duncan says motorists driving through the central North Island should be prepared for delays and detours.  “The snow may well set in again this afternoon and tonight as another band of snow flurries moves through”.

Snow around Queenstown / Otago this morning.  Photo / Simon Williams

Mr Duncan says it’s almost as if we haven’t had an Autumn this year.  “Many people were commenting on our ‘indian summer’ back in April… now we’re in May and seeing winter weather already – we’re still 2 months away from the coldest time of the year”.

Mt TaranakiHeavy showers continue to affect Taranaki this afternoon.  The heavy showers are likely to spread up the west coast and perhaps bring heavier showers, some with hail, back in to Auckland tonight.

Fresh snow on Mt Taranaki this morning.  Photo / Kate Ward.

Tomorrow sees conditions improving in most places but many centres south of Central Plateau are unlikely to reach double digit highs.’s independent weather forecast for Auckland City predicts just 12 degrees in Auckland tomorrow with a cold southerly.

Have your say…

Do you feel like we missed Autumn this year?


Rachel jennings on 20/05/2009 10:42pm

Yes I think we were cheated out of Autumn. It certainly wasn’t long enough and it was unusually mild. Maybe next year we will get an Autumn?

Leeza on 20/05/2009 6:53am

More sleet and a bit of snow I reckon in Christchurch tonight. I must get my pussy inside.

Good to hear you on the radio Richard. It was helpful to get all the snow info

Thanx a lot


phildan89 on 20/05/2009 5:24am

Snow looks like it may be beginning to slow on the mountain. Way down the pouakais-havent seen it this low in probably 5 or 6 years. If this is only May I cant wait for the real dumps in winter itself!

Melissa on 20/05/2009 4:47am

I think because we had a few warm spells in between maybe? Only just noticed a few lovely autumn colours on the tree’s now, agree most just seemed to go brown and fall off. We seem to have our own little micro climate here in Kapiti.

Rob on 20/05/2009 4:25am

Yes, we have been cheated out of an autumn, hate this weather.

SW on 20/05/2009 4:15am

Its a pity Summer never arrives early,ie in early November often,just an extended spring in Auckland.As far as autumn is concerned it gradually got cooler but remained dry till this month,unfortunately still the leaves,brown rather than golden on most trees.

DIANA on 20/05/2009 3:15am

Dull, still , eeeeeeeerrrry sensation too quiet, – ok except the sounds of traffic.. the birds have disappeared. No sightings of rain as yet. Better not hold my breath as its sure to hit soon ??? Its mild not cold.

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