A brief wintry snap from the Southern Ocean will put the early spring on hold for a day or two as snow falls to low levels in the south and hail showers spread across the nation.
Snow is most likely above 100 to 150m around Southland and Otago during Friday AM, possibly bringing snow into Queenstown, Gore and Alexandra. Snow is expected around Dunedin with the chance some flurries may go to sea level this morning.
Snow will fall to 150 to 200m or so across Canterbury and down to 300m in Wellington on Friday PM. This may affect the Rimutaka Ranges highway.
However WeatherWatch.co.nz forecasters say the snow isn’t going to set in for too long. “It’s a short, sharp, wintry snap which will last 24 to 36 hours for most places” says head weather analyst Philip Duncan.
“If you’re in the middle of lambing or calving please note a very cold snap is moving in, but it won’t linger and the snow shouldn’t be too heavy the closer to sea level you are”.
“Much of the snow at sea level will fall in showers, not a big set in snow event”.
Coldest weather will move northwards over the South Island on Friday and into the North Island during Friday PM and Saturday.
Overnight Friday and into early Saturday snow will fall over the North Island ranges including the Central Plateau ski fields and potentially a light dusting of snow on the peaks of the Kaimai, Coromandel and Gisborne ranges.
However by Saturday the southerly will ease – showers will fade out around Wellington and eastern areas with frosty conditions moving into the South Island.
By Sunday warmer weather returns to the entire country as a high rolls over the North Island and west to north west winds build over the South Island – and frosts may be more widespread around North Island inland areas.
Some of the more noticeable differences over the coming days:
– Homepage image / File, Keith Morgan