Where will snow fall and what to look out for

June 19, 2013

The deep Antarctic air that is expected to sweep across the country this week is bringing very significant weather to many provinces. Here’s the official MetService view of the key weather concerns for the country.

MetService Media and Communications Meteorologist Dan Corbett commented, “While snow will be a major issue for those in the South Island, wind and hail will affect many North Island districts.”

South Island

Snow is expected to fall to sea level, or very near it, from Southland to South Canterbury from late Wednesday into Thursday and Friday. The snow level is expected to rise to 200m from about Christchurch northwards. Snow accumulations may reach 1m above 300m for inland parts of Canterbury and South Marlborough. Bitterly cold southeasterlies will bring damaging gusts up to 150km/h for the South Island West Coast, and 130km/h for exposed parts of Marlborough and Nelson. These winds could disrupt travel, and severe wind chill will stress livestock.

North Island

The North Island should see snow falling to about 600m from late Thursday into early Saturday, as south to southwest winds become very strong. The developing southerly flow may bring damaging gusts to 130km/h for Wellington and some parts of the Kapiti Coast. Further north, squally showers riding the gale southwesterlies may bring gusts to 120km/h along western shores.

Corbett also commented, “It’s important to note that the weather concerns differ across various major cities.”

Auckland

Showers, heavy and thundery at times and often laced with hail, are likely to continue well into Friday. Westerlies rise to gale on Thursday with squally gusts reaching 120km/h at times. Very large waves are likely on western shores.

Wellington

Rain, with some heavy falls Thursday as southerlies rise to 130km/h. Snow about the eastern ranges. Very large waves develop in Cook Strait during Thursday, and may affect coastal roads into Friday.

Christchurch

Snow above 200m, with sleety showers elsewhere. Heavy snow above 300m affecting the Port Hills and Banks Peninsula. Gale southerlies, gusting 100km/h in exposed places and bringing large waves to south facing beaches. Wind chill will be severe.

Dunedin

Snow lowering to sea level, with moderate falls likely about the hill suburbs. Strong gale southerlies gusting 80km/h in exposed places resulting in extreme wind chill.

Conditions around the country are expected to ease during Saturday as this low moves away to the east.

Please stay up to date with the latest official forecasts, watches and warnings on metservice.com or on mobile devices at m.metservice.com. You can also follow our updates on MetService TV, @metservice on Twitter and at blog.metservice.com.

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

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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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