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16/8/11: Polar outbreak continues with high winds and snow

Severe Weather Warnings and other Weather Warnings from
9:15 am 16-Aug-2011

Polar outbreak continues to bring high winds and snow to many parts of the country.

An extremely cold outbreak has already brought snow to most of the South Island and southern and central parts of the North Island. Snow is forecast to continue in the south and east of the South Island and periods of snow are expected over the southern half of the North Island. Very heavy snow is expected in inland Canterbury and the south of Marlborough.

This evening, heavy snow is expected to spread north into Hawkes Bay and later into Gisborne.

The heavy snow is likely to continue to cause major disruptions to travel and will make driving conditions very difficult. In addition to this, the weight of accumulated snow on structures such as powerlines and on trees could cause further damage. Strong southerlies, gale about exposed coasts with the cold temperatures will make the wind feel bitterly cold, creating blizzard-like conditions in some places. Farmers are advised that stock may need shelter, particularly in view of the severity and duration of this event.

People are urged to keep up to date with forecasts as further warnings are likely as this event unfolds.



Fiordland South of Te Anau, Southland and Otago including Dunedin.

Snow showers are forecast to continue today, but should ease towards evening. In the 24 hours from 9am Tuesday to 9am Wednesday, expect a further 15 to 25cm of snow to accumulate above 200m and 5 to 15cm to near sea level. However, about the eastern hills of Otago 25 to 40cm may accumulate.



In the 24 hours from 9am Tuesday to 9am Wednesday, expect a further 30 to 60cm of snow to accumulate above 300m and 15 to 30cm at lower levels. The bulk of the snow is likely to fall Tuesday morning to afternoon.


Wellington, Wairarapa and Horowhenua Kapiti Coast

Snow is expected to become widespread this afternoon. In the 9 hours from 3pm Tuesday to midnight Tuesday, expect a further 15 to 30cm of snow above 400 metres and 5 to 15cm from 200 to 400 metres. Lesser amounts may penetrate lower.


Taranaki, Wanganui, Taihape and Manawatu

Snow is expected to become widespread again this evening. From 9pm Tuesday till 6am Wednesday, expect 15 to 25cm of snow above 400 metres and lesser amounts lower down.


Marlborough south of Seddon.

Snow is expected to become widespread again today. In the 24 hours from 9am Tuesday to 9am Wednesday, expect a further 50 to 80cm of snow to accumulate above 300m and 15 to 25cm at lower levels.


Hawkes Bay and Gisborne south of Whatatutu

Snow is forecast to set in this evening. In the 6 hours from 9pm Tuesday in Hawkes Bay, and from midnight in Gisborne, expect 10 to 20cm of snow to accumulate above 400 metres.


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