Snowy weather for Southland and Otago

June 16, 2015

High pressure across New Zealand brings a few bright and sunny days, albeit bookended by cold and frosty nights. However, it is all set to change as we head into the second half of the week, with an active area of low pressure set to bring gales and heavy rain to parts of the country. In addition, the combination of wet weather and cold air still lingering over southern New Zealand is likely to see significant snowfall in Southland, Central Otago and southern Canterbury.

The latest forecasts indicate the risk of snowfall as low as 100 metres for the far south of the country during Thursday and into Friday, with the heaviest falls expected about inland Otago. Although the snowfall is likely to be well received by the skifields, this event has the potential to bring disruption as well, especially to many higher passes and roads in the lower South Island.

The worst of the weather should avoid the likes of Invercargill and Dunedin, but with cold conditions and unsettled weather anticipated across southern New Zealand in the coming days, the public are urged to keep up to date with forecasts, as warnings are likely closer to the event.

A severe weather watch has been already issued by MetService, not just for the potential significant snowfall, but also for gales in Southland, Otago and south Canterbury and heavy rain in Fiordland and south Westland.

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:
John Law 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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