Mother Nature to open the freezer door

May 20, 2015

A developing area of low pressure off the east coast of Australia is likely to spell a wet weekend for the upper North Island. Following the arrival of this rain, a southerly blast coming straight off the polar ice is set to bring wintery weather to the country, including snow to parts of the South Island, over the weekend.

A low pressure system is expected to slide across the Far North of New Zealand during Friday night and into the start of the weekend, and may bring with it some heavy rainfall to parts of Northland, Auckland, Coromandel Peninsula and the Bay of Plenty before moving across to Gisborne and northern Hawkes Bay by Saturday night. “With a few days still to go before this system reaches our shores, there is still time for the rain to be shifted a little further north or south,” MetService Meteorologist John Law said. “However, it does look like we will see some wet weather to start the weekend, so keep a close eye on the latest MetService forecast.”

While the wettest weather stays to the north, the South Island does not escape scot free with some wintry weather returning on Sunday. “This week we have already seen some chilly temperatures in central parts of the South Island; for example, Pukaki dropped to minus 3C overnight,” Law said. “On Sunday, another cold southerly blasts its way up the country, dropping the temperatures and bringing snow which could fall to low levels in some areas.

Currently the heaviest snow is forecast to fall over higher parts of Southland, Otago and Canterbury as highlighted on the Severe Weather Outlook at: However, with such cold air flooding onto southern New Zealand on Sunday, snow is likely to fall to even lower levels, with the potential to affect many roads and accompanied by strong winds and significant wind chill. MetService advises people to keep an eye on the latest forecasts to see if their region will be affected, and to monitor current highway conditions via the NZTA website:

Keep up to date with the latest forecasts and any watches/warnings at or on mobile devices at You can also follow our updates on MetService TV, at MetService New Zealand on Facebook@metservice on Twitter and at

For further information please contact:
Lisa Murray 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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