Big Spring chill

September 10, 2012

A major cold outbreak is expected over New Zealand on Tuesday.

“The most wintry conditions are likely to be over the south of the South Island,” commented MetService’s Media and Communications Meteorologist, Daniel Corbett. “Very strong cold showery southwesterlies are expected to spread over Fiordland, Southland and Otago overnight Monday, with snow falling to sea level.” These conditions could cause stress for livestock without shelter and make driving difficult, especially about the higher roads.

“Wind chill will be a significant factor even in places where it doesn’t snow,” Corbett went on to say. “The “feels like” temperature will be well below the actual temperature – partly because the air will be very cold for the time of year, but also because the winds are expected to be noticeably strong over a lot of the country.”

During Tuesday, the cold southwesterlies are expected to spread over all of New Zealand, bringing snow down to 500 metres or lower in eastern areas from Gisborne to Canterbury, around the central North Island high country across to Taranaki, and southwards to Wellington. In most places snow is not likely to fall in large quantities, but there may be enough to disrupt travel on some higher roads. Many North Island places will continue to have strong or westerlies for the next couple of days.

On Wednesday after the showers have cleared, widespread frosts are likely just about anywhere south of Auckland, with severe frosts possible in inland parts of the South Island.

On Sunday, MetService issued a Severe Weather Warning, a Severe Weather Watch and a Special Weather Advisory in anticipation of this event. Keep up to date with the latest MetService information at or on mobile devices at You can also follow our updates @metservice on Twitter or watch the latest severe weather video on MetService TV.

For further information please contact:
Daniel Corbett Media and Communications Meteorologist (04)4700 754

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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