Weather watch Wednesday

It’s cold and a bit windy and there’s a light smattering of snow here in Dunedin this morning. There’s a bit more snow at higher altitudes, but traffic is still flowing through Roslyn (at about 150 m).

There’s likely to be a bit more in the higher suburbs, but so far it doesn’t seem to be major.

So far news reports have tend towards over the top and scaremongering. Last night the RNZ description of the South Island on Tuesday was nothing like what I saw around Otago (via webcams).

1 News also implied widespread snow and of course managed to find some in the middle of the South Island, but in a report on Queenstown suggesting snow had hit there they showed that it hadn’t settled in most of the town, and there was only a light smattering on the mountains.

They had someone reporting with snow falling – on the Mount Hutt Skifield road. They can’t have found any at altitudes that most people live.

Newstalk ZB:  Giant snowstorm: North Island now in firing line

Heavy snow is set to blanket southern and eastern regions of both islands over the next 48 hours and towering seas will surge through Cook Strait.

Extensive warnings have gone out as much of the country is set to freeze in the grip of giant snowstorm.

That’s at odds with this from Weather Watch:

This isn’t an Antarctic blast so there isn’t major polar energy coming in off the ice caps, instead a large high over Australia is helping scoop up cold air from over the Southern Ocean area – this is going to merge with sub-tropical rain (coming in as a wet cold easterly) around Wednesday, Thursday and Friday creating both heavy rain and heavy snow (rain heavy at sea level falling as heavy snow above 200 or 300m).

Sea level snow isn’t highly likely at this stage – at least not settling or falling in large amounts.

But it is possible that we may see some flurries reaching low levels, or sea level, around Southland, Otago and parts of Canterbury for a time (especially overnight tonight and early Wednesday morning).

Remember this isn’t a major storm and isn’t an Antarctic blast, even if there will be some severe weather – we usually need a few moving parts all lined up in the right places to get snow into our biggest centres at heavy amounts or sea level. Dunedin is the highest candidate for snow out of the main centres for this event.

The current Metservice Severe Weather Watch:

A cold front, followed by strong cold southerlies, has moved across the South Island today, and will sweep farther northwards over central New Zealand tonight and during Wednesday. Snow has already fallen to low levels in the South Island. Further snow showers are forecast through Wednesday and Thursday in southern and eastern areas, falling as low as 100 or 200 metres at times. Significant accumulations are likely at higher elevations, and especially the Kaikoura Ranges could see an extended period of snowfall.

In the lower and central North Island, snow could fall as low as 400 or 500 metres.

Additionally, a low is forecast to develop east of central New Zealand during Wednesday and deepen rapidly on Thursday, bringing heavy rain and gale south to southeast winds to the upper South Island and the lower North Island.

So we are getting some knarly winter weather in the middle of winter, but so far it doesn’t seem out of the ordinary.

Care certainly needs to be taken on roads, not just from snow if there’s any there but also from ice which is more dangerous. Normal winter precautions need to be taken.

I’ll check the street when it gets light. I may delay going to work but unless something changes significantly I should get out by mid morning.

Not even much snow on Flagstaff:

The webcam photos will update during the day.

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8 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  July 12, 2017

    Just a grey, cold, wet, blustery, occasionally gusty, Southerly blow with brief bursts of light & heavy showers coming thru from down South, as per the Winter norm, in North Welly at the mo.

    Reply
  2. Zedd

     /  July 12, 2017

    its a white out in Dn.. mostly sleet, hail in my yard.. the hills look covered.. bloody ffrreeezziinngg, but it looks nice 🙂

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  July 12, 2017

      We were supposed to have rain & showers, low temps, blah blah blah. The skies were bright blue until about 9 am when it began tipping down for a while,stopping before 9.30, , but apart from a couple of half-arsed short showers that was it. It was warm, except when a cold little wind blew occasionally.

      My sympathy for those with sleet. I remember how vile that was in the UK and Europe. The cold in Bath (a city I love dearly) went right through one. I remember one hailstorm where the hail was so hard and jagged that it cut my face & drew blood. .

      Up here, the leaves haven’t all all fallen. It’s as if they think that it’s not worth bothering, may as well stay on.

      Reply
  3. It turned out to be mostly a fizzer down here, a few showers through the day which were a mixture of rain, sleet, hail and snow, but lower down it had mostly melted by the end of the day. Hill suburbs got more for longer and hill routes were affected for longer but it was fairly average.

    Most of Otago seems to have been similar. There was more snow in the higher Mackenzie Country and in the Canterbury foothills but nothing out of the ordinary.

    It looks like the worse will hit the lower North island.

    This is all pretty much as forecast (not as reported).

    This is a cool pic:

    Often the Alps shelter the east of the island from the rain from the north west, but this time the Coast is in the lee of the Alps sheltered from the south easterly.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  July 12, 2017

      Dunno what the outside temp is in North Welly at the mo but, we’ve got a steady Southerly howler blowing thru with rain, have had a couple if brief hail flurries since 3 pm, & the wall-fitted gas heater’s struggling to keep the lounge, dining room & hallway at 14 deg C.

      Reply
  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  July 12, 2017

    Nice sunny day mostly but a very cold wind. Didn’t bother to light the fire tonight and no heaters going. 16 deg inside and 7 outside. Got a rug on the couch and an extra jersey on.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  July 12, 2017

      Jersey, jacket, funky hat & determination not to get pneumonia this year like I did last year. Nobody but an idiot gets bloody pneumonia at my age! God I thought I was dying & I bloody nearly did. Ma screaming at me “Go to the doctor” & me going “No, they cost money, she’ll be right!” 3 lots of antibiotics, each one stronger than the last . Finally cured it when I put the bloody heater on & rugged up for a few days! 🙄

      Reply

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