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Cold Air Arriving During Winter Solstice

21-Jun-2004 For immediate release.

Cold Air Arriving During Winter Solstice

The cold air that arrived over the South Island during the weekend is forecast by MetService meteorologists to finally move onto the North Island tonight and during Tuesday. Its arrival is likely to be heralded today by a period of vigorous northwesterlies over Wellington, Wairarapa and southern Hawke's Bay, and accompanied on Tuesday by thundery squally showers over northern and western parts of the North Island.

The air is cold enough to bring snow and sleet down to 300m above sea level in Fiordland and parts of Southland and Otago. Some snow is forecast to reach down to 800m over the North Island's Central Plateau around midday on Tuesday.

"It is fitting that this cold air is arriving now," commented MetService Weather Ambassador, Bob McDavitt, "for today is the winter solstice and is taken by many to mark the start of winter. The coldest time of the year is still six weeks away, usually between late July and early August."

After the cold air moves off the country on Wednesday only a brief break is forecast. MetService weather maps are picking the next dose of heavy rain to reach the Southern Alps later this week.

ENDS

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