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Forecast Update 15th August




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Comment Share Posted on Wednesday August 15th at 11:02 a.m.

Mostly sunny and dry over the next few days on the South Island. Cloudy with the chance of a couple of light snow-showers above 1700-1800m on the North Island. A low pressure system is due from the Tasman on Sunday and at this stage it looks to be too warm for snow below 2000m. Some colder air should push through Monday which may bring a couple of light snow showers.

  • Look at the trough over Australia on the Spaghetti Plot, this is what we need over NZ, refer to the site for more detail Look at the trough over Australia on the Spaghetti Plot, this is what we need over NZ, refer to the site for more detail

Thursday: Cloudy in the morning clearing to a mostly sunny afternoon on the south island. Cloudy on the North Island with the chance of some light snow flurries above 1700m although nothing significant. Light and variable winds in the south, moderate N'ly winds in the north.

Area Snow Level (m) Amount (cm)
North Island 1700 2-5

Friday: Fine and sunny in eastern areas on the south island, some cloud in the west. Some cloud and possible light snow on the North Island. Winds will be light in the southern lakes, moderate-strong in north Canterbury and on the North Island.

Area Snow Level (m) Amount (cm)
North Island 1800 2-5

Saturday: Fine and sunny on the south island with light winds. Partly Cloudy and moderate westerlies on the North island.

Sunday: An intense low pressure system will arrive from the Tasman bringing cloud strong winds and unfortunately rain. Freezing levels look like they will remain above 2000m for most of the country until Sunday night. I'd give Sunday a miss if you were thinking of heading out to the snow.

Monday: Some slightly colder air will drop freezing levels down to 1200m on the south island and 1600m on the North Island. It looks like some of the precipitation may hang around from the low, at this stage I would say 5-10cm for eastern areas, 2-5cm for central and western areas. This will no doubt change in the next few days. Strong SW winds.

Tuesday: A cold front looks like it will move through bringing light snow to the south island. Moderate SW winds.

Looking Ahead: NZ keep being hit with low pressure systems in the Tasman, which has seen Mt Dobson crack 2m, Mt Hut get very close. More than 50cm of snow has fallen in some Canterbury resorts over the past 3 days. The dominant easterly wind over the past few weeks tends to bring slightly wetter conditions to the east, less in the west which sit in a rain-shadow. This type of weather pattern is very similar to 2008 which saw Mt Hutt crack a 3m base.

The Southern Lakes (Queenstown and Wanaka) tend to do the best out of polar low pressure systems and cold fronts, which require the upper level engine room, the Jet Stream to peak in the right places. The Jet stream has been peaking over Australia over the past few weeks, bringing strong westerlies and snow to very low levels. The best setups for the Southern Lakes are when the Jet Stream peaks directly over NZ.

Unfortunately weather models are not suggesting anything significant in terms of cold polar outbreaks and jet stream activity over the next 10 days.

-NZsnowforecast

 

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