Snow showers to welcome winter

May 29, 2016

New Zealand got lashed again this week by more stormy weather due to a complex low pressure system swirling over the country. A snow warning for Otago came to fruition leading to road closures at the start of the week. Meanwhile in the North Island, thunderstorms generated strong winds, and possible tornadoes, causing significant damage to houses.

As the low pressure system finally pulls away to the east, we are settling into a cold and showery southwest flow, taking us into the meteorological start of winter on 1 June. “Many South Islanders will be waking up to frosty mornings, with temperatures likely to drop to zero in Central Otago and Queenstown-Lakes,” said meteorologist Emma Blades. The North Island will only fare slightly better, with Wellington staying in the low teens, and Auckland getting down to single digits at night.

The cold weather will bring snow showers to the South Island this week. “We’re picking snow down to 500 metres in Southland and Otago on Tuesday, and around 600 metres in Canterbury,” commented Ms Blades. “This is likely to affect hill country farms and the higher passes, so do check our latest forecasts if you are in the area,” cautioned Ms Blades. The North Island ski-fields are also likely to get a top-up this week, with snow showers forecast to get down to around 1000 metres.

Official Severe Weather Watches and Warnings are reviewed and re-issued by MetService at least every twelve hours, and more often if necessary. To get the most up to date information on severe weather around the country, or any other forecasts, see or on mobile devices at You can also follow our updates on MetService TV, at MetService New Zealand on Facebook, @metservice and @MetServiceWARN on Twitter and at

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