Issued at 12:47pm 05-Jun-2008
MetService meteorologists have issued a warning for severe westerly gales affecting Southland, Otago and Canterbury on Friday evening as a vigorous cold front approaches New Zealand from the Southern Ocean.
"As this front nears the South Island wind gusts of around 130 km/hr are likely, strong enough to damage trees and power lines," commented MetService Weather Ambassador, Bob McDavitt.
Mr. McDavitt added that snow is in the forecasts for the first weekend of winter.
"The southerly winds that follow this front are likely to be cold enough to bring snow to low levels over the South Island on Saturday, and may briefly bring snow or sleet to sea level in Southland, Otago and Canterbury. We expect the front to deliver a period of heavy rain to parts of the North Island during Saturday. Severe gales are likely to return to eastern Southland and southern Otago later on Sunday."
The snow is good news for southern ski fields. The wintry weekend weather is likely to make driving conditions difficult in many parts of the eastern South Island and some parts of the North Island. Anyone taking on the outdoors should keep up to date with the latest forecasts and warnings available in the media and on the metservice.com website.