Big Chill Continues

August 8, 2016

It has been very cold over the past few days, with heavy snow affecting parts of both the South and North Islands, followed by severe frosts in a number of places.  As cold southeasterlies prevail over the North Island, a ridge of high pressure builds over the South Island, ensuring temperatures remain cold across all of New Zealand through to the middle of this week.

MetService Meteorologist Peter Little commented, “This morning was one of the coldest this year, with all but a handful of weather stations in our nationwide network recording temperatures below 5C.  Mount Cook Airport was the coldest place with a minimum of -14.1C, while in the North Island the Desert Road plunged to -9.8C”.  More cold nights are on the way, with much of the South Island and inland North Island likely to wake up to sub-zero temperatures again on Tuesday and Wednesday morning.  Drivers need to keep in mind that roads will still be frosty and there may be black ice about.

Whilst many of us will have had enough of the cold already, skiers will relish the opportunity to enjoy some time on the freshly coated ski fields this week.  “The forecast is looking good for skiers this week, with clear skies and not much wind expected on most slopes.  Although little if any snow is in the forecast this week, cold temperatures will provide great snow-making conditions”, said Mr Little.

Meanwhile, showery weather continues to affect northern and eastern parts of the North Island for much of the week.  “An area of low pressure remains slow-moving just to the northeast of the North Island until later this week, and a Watch for localised heavy and possibly thundery rain has been issued for parts of northern New Zealand including northern Auckland on Tuesday and Wednesday”, added Mr Little.

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


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. They are 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. They are issued only when required.
Recommendation: BE READY 

Outlooks are about looking ahead, providing advance information on possible future Watches and/or Warnings. They are issued routinely once or twice a day.
Recommendation: PLAN

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