August 5, 2011

After a relatively sunny week, MetService is forecasting a cold front that looks set to bring snowy conditions to some southern parts of the country this weekend.

The cold front is expected to move across New Zealand during the weekend, preceded by strong or gale northwest winds in eastern areas and accompanied by heavy rain on the West Coast of the South Island.  The front is followed by strong, cold showery southwesterlies.

From later on Saturday through into Sunday morning, sleety showers and southwest gales are expected in Fiordland, Southland and south Otago, with possible heavy snowfall down to 200 metres and lighter falls down to sea level for a time.  The combination of southwest gales and snow drifts may cause disruption to transport and be stressful to stock.

“For places such as Dunedin, temperatures are likely to be on a roller coaster,” commented MetService Weather Ambassador Bob McDavitt.  “On Saturday, the prefrontal northwest winds may bring temperatures of up to 14C during the day; when the front arrives in the evening, temperatures may fall rapidly to around 5C, accompanied by a light dusting of snow around the higher suburbs.”

According to McDavitt, the front may also bring some snow to the central North Island ski fields on Sunday, as well as to the Desert Road area late Sunday and into Monday.  “Skies should generally clear during Monday and Tuesday.”

MetService has issued a Severe Weather Watch for wind, rain and snow to cover this event.  People planning outdoor activities or travel can check the latest forecasts and warnings at, or for mobiles, at

For further information please contact:
Bob McDavitt       Weather Ambassador           (09)377 4831
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

(C) Copyright Meteorological Service of New Zealand Ltd 2011

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