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Last gasp of winter for the end of the School Holidays

MetService News Release
Thursday 11 October 2018

A low pressure system with a series of associated fronts brings heavy rain, thunderstorms, snow and strong winds to many areas across the country today through until Saturday. A southerly change in the wake of this system drops the temperatures down to the early teens during the day and single digits during the night from Friday and into the weekend.

The low moves towards the country today and onto the North Island on Friday, spreading a series of fronts across the country as it goes. Severe Weather Warnings are in force for heavy rain in northwest Nelson today, heavy snow for Canterbury and southern Marlborough on Friday, and severe southerly gales in Taranaki, the Kaikoura Coast, Marlborough Sounds and Wellington Friday into early Saturday. Severe Weather Watches are in place for heavy rain about the ranges of Buller and the Richmond Range of Nelson today, the eastern ranges of Bay of Plenty overnight and Friday morning, and for severe southeasterly gales in Westland on Friday. There are also Road Snow Warnings in force for Friday for the Lewis, Arthur’s, Porters, and Lindis passes, as well as the Crown Range Road, Milford Road and the Dunedin to Waitati Highway.

“Snow is expected to lower to about 300 metres overnight Thursday and during Friday in Canterbury and Marlborough south of Ward, including the higher level passes. During Friday, 15 to 30cm of snow may accumulate above about 500 metres with lesser amounts down to about 300 metres. The snow is likely to be heaviest during Friday morning, and during that time the risk of damage to trees and powerlines is greatest,” explains MetService Meteorologist Ciaran Doolin.

“Snow is also likely to affect the central North Island Friday night into Saturday. This includes the Desert Road and the Napier - Taupo Road.”

The low moves gradually east of the North Island on Saturday, allowing the southerly gales to ease off a notch, while a weakening front moves up the South Island. The front moves onto the North Island on Sunday and weakens further. Meanwhile a ridge of high pressure builds over the South Island. The ridge spreads across the rest of the country on Monday and persists through Tuesday making for a settled start to the working week.

“With a lot severe weather in store across the country over the next few days it is important that people stay up to date with the latest MetService forecasts for their area and the Severe Weather Warnings and Watches, particularly if you are planning road travel,” said Doolin.


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