From the grips of winter to a more typical August

August 11, 2016

August has been pushing the bounds of winter so far, with heavy snowfall shutting the Napier-Taupo road for several days, and flooding in the north when over 140mm fell in the Warkworth and Coromandel regions. On Thursday morning Dunedin airport recorded its second coldest August temperature, dropping to -7.5C.

The next few days see a return to more typical winter conditions.  There will be some good spells of sunshine, some rain, a little wind, and snow on the mountains, but conditions shouldn’t reach the same extremes as recently.  Very cold overnight temperatures return to their regular winter averages, although this still permits the odd frost.  Winds swing from the southeast back to their customary westerly direction, bringing a few fronts across the country. These fronts will cause showers from Friday into Saturday, then again late Sunday into Monday.  Compared to recent events the rainfall will be fast-moving, and should clear before too long.

Sunday looks like the pick of the weekend to hit the North Island ski fields, with Manganui Ski Area on Mount Taranaki recently opening as well as good bases on Mount Ruapehu. Looking further ahead, conditions settle around the middle of next week, spelling plenty more opportunities to hit the slopes.  The latest snow reports, forecasts and webcams are all available on MetService’s snow app, available here:

Frosts are not unusual in winter, but the temperatures are warming as we head into the weekend.  Photo Doug Harrap.

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 and @MetServiceWARN on Twitter and at

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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