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Winter Tightens Its Grip

Issued at 03:49pm 22-Jun-2008
Winter Tightens Its Grip

MetService currently has heavy rain warnings for Bay of Plenty, Mount Taranaki and northwest Nelson, and a Severe Weather Watch is in effect for Northland, Coromandel Peninsula, the hills of inland Taranaki, across the Central Plateau, and for northern Fiordland and Westland.

"Already there has been around 140 mm of rain at Dawson Falls in northern Taranaki, and over 100 mm in parts of the Coromandel Ranges," commented MetService Weather Ambassador, Bob McDavitt. "An active trough is moving across northern and western areas on Sunday, followed by bands of squally and thundery showers."

On Monday, colder conditions are forecast in southern areas as the trough moves away to the east. Southerly winds are likely to be cold enough to briefly bring snow down to around 400 metres in Fiordland, Southland, Otago, and Canterbury.

"Late on Tuesday, the cold hand of winter is likely to tighten its grip." Much colder southerlies are expected to sweep north across the country, with snow showers to sea level in Fiordland, Southland, and Otago, and to near sea level in Canterbury and Kaikoura, and with a few heavy falls possible. Snow is also likely on Tuesday night down to 400 metres over the southern half of the North Island, with lesser amounts to lower levels.

"Tuesday's southerly will be unusually cold. Farmers should shelter any vulnerable stock, and motorists should keep up to date with latest weather and road conditions."

Mr. McDavitt added that the snow should thaw on Wednesday. "However, in the wake of the snow a strong westerly flow is likely to bring severe gales and heavy swells to western coasts."


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