More spring snow this week

September 23, 2018

It’s the Spring Equinox today, which is when the overhead sun shifts from the northern hemisphere to the southern hemisphere.  The hours of daylight and nighttime are of approximately equal duration all over the planet, and in New Zealand the hours of daylight will continue to increase through to the summer solstice on 22 December.

Despite transitioning into our meteorological spring more than three weeks ago, another cold snap is on the way this week, with snow forecast to low-levels over the South Island.  MetService Meteorologist Peter Little said, “A low is expected to develop on a cold front east of the South Island tonight, then remain slow-moving through Monday.  This low will direct a cold southeasterly flow over the South Island, bringing significant snowfall to high country areas.  Road snowfall forecasts are in force for several passes, and a Severe Weather Watch has also been issued for the possibility of heavy snow in parts of Otago and Canterbury on Monday and Tuesday.  In addition, heavy rain is possible about eastern Otago.”

As the low moves eastwards on Tuesday, the cold air surges over the remainder of the country, followed by a period of strong to gale force southwest winds.  “As this wintry blast spreads northwards on Tuesday, snow will fall across higher parts of the North Island, with the Desert Road likely to be affected.  There may even be a dusting of snow near the summit of the Remutaka Hill Road north of Wellington”, added Little.

MetService issues Warnings, Watches and Outlooks for severe weather over New Zealand.
Warnings are about taking action:
* When severe weather is imminent or is occurring
* Issued only when required
* Recommendation: ACT
Watches are about being alert:
* When severe weather is possible, but not sufficiently imminent or certain for a Warning to be issued
* Issued only when required
* Recommendation: BE READY
Outlooks are about looking ahead:
* To provide advance information on possible future Watches and/or Warnings
* Issued routinely once or twice a day
* Recommendation: PLAN

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