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The Grip of Winter

Issued by MetService at 12:06pm 20-Jun-2006

The Grip of Winter

MetService meteorologists have issued a Severe Weather Watch for the Canterbury Plains and Kaikoura Ranges to cover the possibility of further snow from the next cold front which is expected on Wednesday.

"The winter solstice this year is at twenty six minutes past midnight at the start of Thursday," commented MetService Weather Ambassador, Bob McDavitt. "This is taken by many to be the start of winter, but winter already has the whole country firmly in its grip."

McDavitt added that recent cold fronts have been followed by southwest winds and have been able to skirt around the Canterbury Plains. "Wednesday's cold front is likely to be followed by more penetrating chilly southerlies that are capable of bringing snow to low levels over any ground that is already nearly freezing."

The grip of winter is likely to intensify later this week when this front reaches the North Island where it is forecast to deepen into a slow-moving low that will last well into the weekend.

The message is for travellers to double-check the latest road and weather warnings and allow extra time for their trip.

ENDS

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