The rain has passed – now comes the chill

June 21, 2015

New Zealand was hammered by a winter storm this week which brought heavy rain to many parts of the country and heavy snow about parts of Canterbury and North Otago. Temperatures plummeted in the south, but stayed mild in the North, with Napier and Gisborne both approaching 20C.

The weather system wreaking the havoc has moved away to the east of the country and is being replaced by a cold southerly flow. “Temperatures will drop across the whole country over the next couple of days with severe frosts forecast for sheltered places,” commented MetService meteorologist Emma Blades. “Add the wind chill factor from strong winds in the east and it’s going to start to feel bitterly cold for some,” Blades added. Timaru could drop to around -9C at night, which compared to their average minimum temperature of 0C for this time of year is extremely chilly.

The very cold polar air means that showers are going to fall as snow to low levels in the south and east of the South Island this evening. A Severe Weather Watch is in place for heavy snow in south Fiordland, Southland, southern parts of Otago, and the Canterbury Plains north of Ashburton.

As we head into next week a few showers will hang around, mostly in the east and south of the North Island, falling as snow about the higher roads. Skies will gradually clear elsewhere.

The strong southerly flow should also bring heavy swell to exposed coasts over the next couple of days before easing. However, large swell may persist around coastal Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne until the end of the week.

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:
Emma Blades Meteorologist (04)4700848

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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