July to end with a cold snap
29 July 2019
MetService are forecasting mild northeasterly winds over the country which will result in daytime temperatures around 3 to 5 degrees warmer than average today, with many North Island towns reaching the high teens. However, temperatures are expected to plummet in the coming days as winds change colder southwesterly.
The north to northeast flow that has been responsible for the recent mild temperatures has also brought rain to the west of the South Island, and a Heavy Rain Watch remains in force for Westland, south of Hokitika.
This weather regime is set to change by mid-week as a broad trough moves over the country from the Tasman Sea.
MetService Meteorologist Peter Little explains, “A cold front embedded in a broad trough moves over southern New Zealand on Tuesday, then the remainder of the country on Wednesday. Most places in New Zealand will receive a period of rain with the front, followed by a change to strong, cold and showery southwesterly winds.”
“Daytime temperatures are forecast to drop by 4 to 7 degrees following the cold front. For instance, Christchurch is expected to reach 16°C this afternoon, but only 9°C on Wednesday and Thursday. Places exposed to the strong southwesterly winds will feel even colder, when you factor in the wind chill”, added Little.
The snow level is expected to lower to around 300 metres in the south and east of the South Island by mid-week, and a Heavy Snow Watch has been issued. High Country farms and several higher roads will likely be affected by snow, and as the cold air surges northwards the Desert Road may also receive some snow.
A front embedded in the southwest flow is expected to move quickly over the country on Friday, followed by another front over the weekend. Temperatures will remain cold into the first week of August, with further periods of snow likely about high ground. This will be welcome news for skiers, but farmers and folk wanting to travel on higher roads will need to plan for the wintry conditions.
The most up to date information on the snow or any other severe weather can be found at http://www.metservice.com/warnings/home, and if you are traveling by road check http://www.nzta.govt.nz/safety/driving-safely/winter-driving/