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Antarctic Blast Set To Chill New Zealand

After a warm but wet weekend across much of the North Island it’s all change this week as a blast of cold polar air reaches across the country. As winds swing round to the south, temperatures are set to take a tumble across Aotearoa New Zealand with the return of bitterly cold temperatures, unseasonable frosts and even some snow showers to low levels.

“It was a wet weekend across the North Island, especially through the Bay of Plenty where rainfall totals over the weekend reached almost 70mm in Whakatāne and almost 100mm in Rotorua,” says MetService Meteorologist John Law, “but while it was wet it was warm. Hamilton, for example saw a high of 22C on Sunday.” It was a sunnier story in the far south of the South Island but with temperatures often 10 degrees cooler than their northern counterparts.

Temperatures this coming week will drop across the country as air from the Southern Ocean sweeps northwards. “We are all going to feel this very cold air when it arrives midweek” says Law, “While temperatures in the central parts of the South Island will be the coldest, even up in the winterless north we could find temperatures cold enough for a touch of ground frost.”

It won’t only be cold nights to watch out for, temperatures during the day are set to be unseasonably cold as well. 
“Daytime temperatures will be struggling to break into double digits for many on Thursday and with strong southwesterly winds whipping around coastal parts of the county, the windchill is going to make it feel colder still,” warns Law.

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With the cold comes the risk of snow as well, especially for Southland and Otago. However, snow showers could well be seen as far north as the lower North Island during Thursday. A Heavy Snow Watch is now in force for the south and east of the South Island above 400 metres.

“For most of us the cold will be the thing we will be talking about. We will see some snow showers on the South Island and even around parts of the Wellington Region on Thursday. The cold outbreak could potentially cause stress to livestock and damage to crops due to frosty conditions,” says Law.

During conditions like these MetService advises staying up to date with all the latest forecasts and any severe weather forecasts on the metservice website.

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