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Wintry blast heads north, Wellington slammed by gales again

Update 3:35pm — A wintry blast continues to push north this afternoon after bringing heavy snow this morning to some inland parts of the South Island. – now it’s bringing severe weather into the North Island.

Wellington is again being hit by hurricane force winds, gusting over 130km/h on the ranges and between 110km/h and 130km/h in the city itself.

Wellington Airport has stopped flights with many cancelled or have an “indefinite delay”.

Taranaki has also been hit by heavy rain and strong, cold, winds.  Severe weather is now west of Taranaki and could affect Waikato, Auckland and Northland this evening.

The main surge has now passed through the South Island but this evening there is a possibility of seeing a few snow flakes to sea level in Christchurch – but don’t expect much and don’t expect it to be widespread.  Snow may fall to sea level, or low levels (100m or so) in other eastern parts of the South Island overnight too but again at sea level very little is expected in the way of precipitation (ie, rain, snow or hail).

As we said last week there was never going to be a lot of moisture with this system for the South Island, it’s mostly about the cold air there for farmers and snow and black ice affecting highways. In the North Island it’s about heavy rain in the east and heavy snow on the ranges, including Wellington’s Rimutaka Ranges and the Central Plateau’s volcanic highways.  Gales are also affecting the lower North Island, mainly Wellington and Kapiti Coast.

There are reports snow has started to fall on the Rimutaka Ranges.

A number of people have reported to today that they’ve had 2 or 3cms of snow, mostly though inland Canterbury, Otago and northern Southland.

“Plenty of snow through Southern Lakes / Central Otago region overnight with 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10cms) through Naseby, Otarahua” our Southland reporter Malcolm Gayfer told us this morning.  “Much of the snow has frozen, road crews are out”,

My Gayfer says it’ was snowing around Queenstown Lakes area this morning but not settling “again graders are out on the roads. Invercargill, we had a few showers and that was it!”.

A reader, also from Invercargill, agreed. “Apart from a cold wind, which isn’t overly strong, it’s a non-event down in Invers! After a couple of mornings in the negatives, 4 degrees doesn’t feel too bad at all” wrote “LM”.

Meanwhile the main front is now pushing into the North Island and snow levels will lower behind it.  As of 2pm the front was lying roughly Taranaki to Wellington and heading northwards with rain and/or a surge of heavy showers.

Snow could be heavy this afternoon and over the next couple of days on the Desert Road with snow on the tops of most of the main North Island ranges tonight.

In the lower North Island expects snow flurries down to 300m tonight and potentially lower in some isolated showers. 

Temperatures are now dropping nationwide.  Auckland at 2pm had dipped to 11 degrees,

Wellington has 7 degrees with a gale force southerly slamming the city – with gusts over 110km/h in built up areas. Damage is now possible and advises that people should remain indoors this afternoon and evening with conditions expected to hang around for the rest of the day.  The feels like temperature in Wellington is closer to zero in exposed places too.

Flights are affected in and out of Wellington and air travellers should check with the airline for further details.

In Christchurch a strong southerly continues to blow with the temperature steady on 5 degrees.

Dunedin has been hovering between 3 and 5.

Hamilton remains mild on 14 degrees but the wind is getting colder and showers are now increasing.




Jc on 14/07/2013 4:24am

Christchurch miss out again on the Snow today and probbarly wont come in the evening so oh well there always next winter.
Thanks Jc

WW Forecast Team on 14/07/2013 5:24am

It possibly won’t but a chance exists of a few flurries. We’ll see.

Winter isn’t over yet 😀


Guest on 14/07/2013 4:07am

What is the snow looking like for Taranaki (Stratford)?
& If we have some, How thick is it going to be and how long will it last?


WW Forecast Team on 14/07/2013 5:29am


Tomorrow morning showers may have a chance of delivering a snow flurry or two to Stratford so that would be your best tine to look out for them. If you get some snow, amounts on the ground wouldn’t be large. 1 or 2cm at best perhaps.


Michael on 14/07/2013 2:37am

Hi. What sort of snowfalls are you expecting around wellington. I see metservice now saying sleet and dusting on the hills. How low do you think it will go or will it be just be another wind event like last time for us. When will it really get cold with the sleet? In whitby atm with constant rain and winds over 100kph

WW Forecast Team on 14/07/2013 3:13am

It gets coldest later this evening and that’s the point snow will lie around the 300 maybe even 200m mark.

You’ll find the rain eases off soon.

Overall for this event you could be looking at 5 or so centimetres down to 300 / 200m. Then 15cm above 600m sort’ve thing.


Guest on 14/07/2013 4:06am

The wind so far is not as strong as the storm of a few weeks ago, the gusts then were more “dynamic” here in Whitby, a bit of a mini version this time of that big blow.


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