Trust us, you don’t want to read this forecast, unless you’re a kiwi

Photo credit: The Remarkables, NZ

He’s back, Alex Zadnik, our resident meteorologist with his weekly snow forecast for the next seven days.

What a shame we can’t jump on a plane and head across the ditch because in true kiwi season style, their snow has come in late (doesn’t it do this every season?) and in true Australian 2020 season style, we’ve chugged along with whimpers, a couple of false starts, a bang and now another whimper.

See for yourself, take it for what it is. If you can get outside then in a year like this, you’re lucky.

Australian Outlook – issued Wednesday 9th September.

It’s been a warm and windy week for Australian alpine areas, leading to a sharp decline in snow cover. Maximum temperatures were around 10 degrees at 1700 metres elevation on Tuesday, while many chairlifts were on wind hold at Perisher and Thredbo.

The Super Trail at Thredbo is now closed due to the reduced snow cover, particularly at lower elevations.

Winds will not be as strong through Wednesday, while temperatures will be lower in the wake of a cold front. There has been some rain for the Snowy Mountains overnight and more showers are expected during the day. Fortunately totals should not be too high.

Skies will probably remain partly cloudy on Thursday but it should stay dry. It will be icy to begin with, after below zero overnight temperatures, so the groomers will be the best bet during the morning. Softer conditions are expected in the afternoon as the day warms a little. Moderate winds from the east/northeast are anticipated.

Friday will see northeast winds freshen for a period due to the approach of a weakening cold front from the west.  Temperatures will climb well above zero during the day, so the groomers will be best in the morning before things become slushy in the afternoon.

Saturday will be a very similar day, with warm conditions and moderate to fresh winds from the north.  The tail end of the cold front will cross the Snowy Mountain during Sunday but weaken as it does so. This means that there will be no real injection of cold air. Rain is expected throughout the day, so Saturday is looking like the best bet for the weekend.

Rain should clear on Monday as a cooler and drier southwesterly airstream develops in the wake of a cold front.  Dry and mostly sunny conditions are expected on Tuesday as a high pressure system moves over NSW. A cold front may cause winds and cloud cover to increase from Wednesday into Thursday.

At this stage there are no major snow bearing systems in the longer term outlook, although a colder pattern does look like developing between Friday 18th and Tuesday 22nd September.

Check the 7 day detailed resort snow forecasts here.

New Zealand Outlook – issued Wednesday 9th September.

A cold front will surge across the South Island during Wednesday evening and Thursday, bringing fresh snowfalls to the ski fields. The Remarkables, Coronet Peak, Treble Cone and Cardrona should pick up falls of 5-10cm while 20-30cm is possible for Mount Hutt during Thursday.

Snow showers should continue on and off for Hutt during Friday but tend to ease around the Queenstown and Wanaka ski areas. Friday should be a good day to hit the slopes on the South Island given the fresh falls and gradually improving weather conditions.

Ruapehu should pick up around 10-15cm during Thursday night and Friday as the front crosses the North Island. The weekend is looking nice for Turoa and Whakapapa with a high pressure system bringing mostly clear skies and lighter winds.

Saturday looks like a great day for the South Island, with the high delivering mostly clear skies and moderate to fresh winds from the northwest. These winds may strengthen for the Queenstown and Wanaka ski areas in the afternoon, so make the most of the morning.

Weather conditions are expected to deteriorate for these areas on Sunday, with strengthening winds, increasing cloud cover and the risk of rain. Winds will also strengthen for Mt Hutt, and to a lesser extent at Ruapehu, but it should stay dry through the day.

Very wet and windy conditions are likely for the lower South Island on Monday, as the first front slips past and a second stronger system approaches from the west. Isolated showers are also possible at Mt Hutt and Ruapehu during Monday.

This next system has the potential to bring a healthy boost of cold air and snow on Tuesday and Wednesday. It is a little too early to be confident on totals, but another 15-30cm is possible by mid next week.

Check the 7 day detailed resort snow forecasts here.


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Alex Zadnik is a complete weather nerd and proud of it. A keen skier who chases the powder globally, he is the resident meteorologist for MetraWeather and has an impressive weather pedigree providing commentary for Australia's leading radio and television weather networks and now SnowsBest.com.