A bitterly cold week with some snow

July 21, 2014

An Antarctic southerly flow of air spills over New Zealand, and is expected to remain firmly in place through the rest of the week. The nature of this air moving across Aotearoa means there will be some frigid days and very chilly nights. Wintry showers are also in the mix, especially for the southern parts of the South Island, Banks Peninsula and the eastern parts of the North Island.

Throughout the week New Zealand will continue to find itself on the eastern flank of a broad area of high pressure over the Tasman Sea, keeping the winds coming from the south, and delivering a steady stream of showers to parts of the country.

“This southwest flow will bring a range of very cold temperatures across New Zealand,” MetService Meteorologist John Law said, “as well as some showers to spots exposed to the southwest. The combination of both will mean some spots are in the firing line for some snow as well.”

Over the South Island, as temperatures drop snow showers are forecast to low levels across parts of Southland and Otago, as well as for Banks Peninsula and coastal parts of Canterbury overnight. Snowfall is likely to affect many of the inland roads in these regions, including Dunedin’s northern motorway. Christchurch City may also be affected overnight Monday and early Tuesday. While warning amounts of snow are not likely, (set at snow accumulation exceeding 10 cm in 6 hours or 25 cm in 24 hours), for many regions any snow will cause travel disruptions.

The North Island is also expected to experience snow showers above 300 metres in parts of Wellington and Wairarapa. A severe weather warning for heavy snow above 400 metres has been issued for Wellington, Wairarapa, Wanganui and Taihape. The Desert Road and the Rimutaka Hill Road are also likely to see some fresh snow fall over the higher parts of the road.

Keep up to date with the latest forecasts and any watches/warnings at 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:
John Law 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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