Snow is set to fall on the South Island this weekend and the freezing weather could even dust Christchurch and Dunedin white, a forecaster says.
Snow is expected to settle in inland regions of Southland, Canterbury and Otago located higher than 100m or 200m above sea level.
But snow flurries could also reach the South Island’s suburbs, although it was hard to predict, WeatherWatch said.
If you're thinking it's a bit cold today, just wait until tomorrow night! You can see the start of the cold change arriving in the lower half of the South Island by noon Sunday.
🥶View hyper-local wind chill (hour by hour) at https://t.co/eveWdQiaoB, powered by @IBMWatson pic.twitter.com/fx562Ap5YY
— WeatherWatch.co.nz (@WeatherWatchNZ) August 6, 2021
“Borderline snow events can be a bit of a nightmare for weather forecasters to predict,” it said.
“But the 50/50 set up for Christchurch means rain and sleet may fall, or, it may turn to snow completely and bring a blanket of white snow to the city,” the forecaster said.
“The high for Christchurch is forecast to be only 6C on Sunday and again on Monday, but it’s the overnight temperatures and morning temperatures on Monday which may be the best chance for snow to fall, as temperatures drop to only 2C.
“This is right on the borderline for snow and within the margins of it happening.”
Snow could also potentially fall in Dunedin, particularly its higher-elevation suburbs as well as around Kaikōura in the north.
In the North Island, snow flurries will blanket the Desert Rd in the central alpine region as well as Mt Taranaki in the west.
It could even reach the towns around Mt Taranaki.
“Snow on Mt Taranaki may get close to Stratford with a chance of a few flurries in the township or nearby,” WeatherWatch said.
Metservice has advised Kiwis to keep their winter woollies and brollies close to hand as wet weather and gusty gales are forecast to sweep through the country this weekend.
— NIWA Weather (@NiwaWeather) August 6, 2021
Metservice meteorologist Angus Hines warned people to keep their ears peeled for thunder and be careful when venturing outdoors and travelling on the roads because strong winds were expected.
This morning in Auckland, the wind was forecast to reach up to 90km/h in exposed places before gradually easing throughout the day, Hines said.
Rugby fans planning to watch the All Blacks take on Australia’s Wallabies tonight at Auckland’s Eden Park should make sure to come wrapped up as temperatures are expected to dip.
More snow dumps are expected across the South Island this weekend. Photo / Supplied
The city is heading for a high of 16C today and an overnight low of 9C.
As the wind was expected to die out in the evening, there was a “good chance – but not a guarantee – of dry weather for the Bledisloe game”, Hines said.
Unfortunately, the calm conditions weren’t likely to hang round for long as Sunday brought “a pretty gnarly weather system” from the west to the North Island, Hines said.
This meant extensive rain, particularly for the lower North Island, he said.
“The heaviest and more persistent rain was going to be south of Taranaki. North of that is a little more patchy, but pretty much everyone is getting some rain.”
🌩 Sunday Thunderstorm Outlook 🌩
Coastal Fiordland and Stewart Island may see some thundery falls and hail tomorrow.
There is a low risk that some other regions across Aotearoa New Zealand with see a thunderstorm on Sunday.
Details: https://t.co/BZWb7ZPiRd ^Ash pic.twitter.com/uCOZUCwnVn
— MetService (@MetService) August 7, 2021
That meant Wellington was expecting a mostly fine Saturday with a top of 15C, before rain and possible heavy falls hit on Sunday with a high of 12C.
He said the other element this low pressure was going throw in the mix was sucking up the cold air from the Southern Ocean and spreading it across the country.
“We are looking at quite a lot of snow on Sunday and on Monday morning.”
Scattered wet weather and a “very cold atmosphere” for all eastern places in the South Island was forecast.
“Extreme care is required travelling throughout the country,” Hines said.
💨 Strong Wind Watches and Warnings 💨
A strong southerly pushes across central Aotearoa tomorrow.
Expect severe gales in exposed places, with gusts reaching 120 km/h.
Winds will ease during the second half of Monday.
Details: https://t.co/qHyE5zhh6X ^Ash pic.twitter.com/EZutdhHZRs
— MetService (@MetService) August 6, 2021