Southerly brings snow and heavy rain along with strong winds

July 10, 2017

Make the most of today, folks. After today’s relatively quiet weather, a cold front moves onto the far south of the South Island tonight, heralding  a week of wintry temperatures.

“This front is expected to bring severe weather, affecting many parts of New Zealand from Tuesday to Thursday, including snow, heavy rain and severe  gales. This may cause disruption to transport – including to people  travelling for the school holidays – as well as stress to livestock. It is  also worth noting large swells of 4-5 metres are expected for the south  coast of the North Island from Thursday,” explained MetService  Meteorologist Ciaran Doolin.

On Tuesday, the front moves up the South Island, and is followed by very cold southerlies lingering until Thursday. Snow is expected above 200  metres in the far south and 200-300 metres in Canterbury. There is a Severe  Weather Watch in force for snow in many South Island places with 20-30cm,  possibly even more, expected to accumulate for Otago and Canterbury high  country stations. “Keep an eye on possible snow for the northern motorway  of Dunedin, and Banks Peninsula, on Tuesday night and during Wednesday,”  said Doolin.

As a low develops east of the North Island on Wednesday, expect severe gales, heavy rain and snow for central New Zealand areas, and these are  likely to continue into Thursday. Snow continues to fall above 200-300m in  the South Island on Wednesday, with sleet or a few flurries possibly lower,  with things gradually easing there on Thursday.

On Friday the low moves north, and weather conditions slowly ease.

“This is a significant weather event so people are advised to stay up to date with the latest forecasts. A Severe Weather Watch is already in force  for many places in the South Island and Warnings are likely to be issued in  the next day or two,” added Doolin.

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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