They’ve been calling it for a few days now and today it finally arrived in the South Island with some resorts forecast to wake up on Friday with well over a metre of fresh snow from the three day storm cycle.
SnowsBest is on the ground in New Zealand this week and we got caught up in the first storm rumblings at Coronet Peak today with plenty of light dry snow falling from above. The Remarkables, Coronet Peak, Cardrona and Treble Cone have all benefited from the storm thus far with snowfall to continue into tomorrow.
But the big news is what’s in store further north in Canterbury, home to Mt Hutt, Porters, Craigieburn, Broken River, Mt Olympus, Temple Basin, Rainbow, Dobson and many more of our favourite ski fields. Snow has already fallen to sea level at Christchurch Airport and there’s plenty more on the way with a ‘significant snow event‘ being heralded by meteorologists.
Canterbury Weather Updates posted this tonight:
KEY POINTS FOR YOUR TUESDAY EVENING
This ‘Pool’ of air will be our coldest to date in 2017. Our 23 towns across the region now have unmatched specific details on what to expect. Our wintry outbreak could last for an extended period of time & demands respect, especially for those in the hill country. The foothills of Mid & North Canterbury remain in the ‘firing’ line, with significant snow likely above 300-400m. Prepare for a wet and bitterly cold Wednesday, Thursday & Friday for many parts of the region. We’re starting to see some worrying signs on Thursday, with the potential for very heavy snow about North Canterbury & the Kaikoura District; we’ll be motoring this closely over the next 24 hours.
A CWU Snow ‘Warning’ is in place, covering timing, accumulations & unmatched coverage for ‘hit zones’. In addition, a CWU Alpine Road Snowfall ‘Warning’ is in place for Tuesday evening, through Wednesday. A CWU ‘Watch’ is in place for sea level snow on Wednesday, for central parts of the region. Take extreme care & avoid our higher passes & roads.
Snow is likely to fall to low levels across the Canterbury Plains & Coastal Hill Country and may cause road closures for our higher Alpine Passes Tuesday evening, through Wednesday & even into Thursday & Friday for higher roads across the region. Porters Pass looks likely to experience the heavier falls.
This could be one of our more significant systems of weather in recent years for the foothills of Mid & North Canterbury. Heavy rain and snow to very low levels may cause stress & issues for livestock and disruptions for higher roads across the region.
Hang in there! The weekend and early stages of next week look superb! Sunny & calm and perhaps even a little milder on Sunday & Monday!
Mountainwatch.com is calling for 130+ cms of snow for some of the Canterbury resorts over the next three days and some heavy snow for Mt Ruapehu on the North Island too.
The New Zealand Met Service called for a Severe Weather Watch on their website today, stating the following:
SEVERE WEATHER WATCH FOR SOUTHLAND, STEWART ISLAND, FIORDLAND,CENTRALOTAGO, NORTH OTAGO, SOUTHERN LAKES, CLUTHA, DUNEDIN,CANTERBURY PLAINS,CHRISTCHURCH, CANTERBURY HIGH COUNTRY, MARLBOROUGH,NELSON, WELLINGTON,KAPITI HOROWHENUA, WAIRARAPA, HAWKES BAY, TAIHAPE ISSUED BY METSERVICE AT 2047hrs 11-Jul-2017
SNOW FOR PARTS OF THE SOUTH ISLAND AND THE LOWER NORTH ISLAND, ALSO HEAVY RAIN AND STRONG WINDS ACROSS CENTRAL NEW ZEALAND
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.
Word is that the skies will clear by Friday and be filled no doubt with powder beards and frozen teeth from skiers and boarders already frothing at the snow fall on day one of this storm.
Watch this space.
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