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Big Weekend Snowball

Fri, 13 Aug 2004

Big Weekend Snowball

The low pressure system heading for New Zealand this weekend is like a giant snowball. When it reaches Southland and Otago from Saturday evening it is likely to bring blizzard-like whiteout conditions with snow to sea level. MetService meteorologists have issued a heavy snow warning for the Southland hills and Otago Peninsula, and put in place a severe weather watch for snow in Canterbury and along the Kaikoura Coast.

Warnings have also been issued to cover the approach of this low with heavy rain expected for many western areas and severe gales in Wellington, Wairarapa and parts of Marlborough.

"This snowball of a low has been fed with some polar air," commented MetService Weather Ambassador, Bob McDavitt. "When it hits, Southland and Otago are likely to get snow in greater amounts than their previous falls this week. The snow-bearing southerlies are forecast to spread north across the country and reach central North Island by late Sunday. Wind chill is likely to be stressful to farm stock and to anyone caught out in the open. Snow to low levels may combine with strong winds and make several mountain roads impassable."

MetService has recently extended its road snowfall warning service to include Lewis Pass and Arthur's Pass. Road snowfall warnings are posted to the www.metservice.co.nz web site whenever the need becomes apparent. Anyone interested can apply from this web site to receive these and other warnings via email.

ENDS


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