7 day outlook: more snow for Australia and New Zealand

Thredbo
Thredbo on Monday. Photo credit: Thredbo Media

Well that week ended well. The big snowfall forecasts for Australia hit a blip when the freezing level on Friday lifted considerably but let’s not mention the rain (or the wind), because Saturday and Sunday were powder days for the Aussie resorts.

Perisher called 106cm for their storm total and Thredbo wasn’t far behind. The Victorian resorts topped out in the mid seventies and all was very well with the world.

Meanwhile, the quiet achiever New Zealand got some decent top ups of 20cm plus at Treble Cone and Cardrona and TC even opened up the Saddle Basin for the first time this season and fresh tracks.

So, what’s next? Our meteorologist, Alex Zadnik, reports with his weekly Wednesday 7 day outlook.

Australia – wild weather continues

Wild weather has brought a significant top-up of fresh snow to the Australian resorts in the past week, with widespread falls of 50-100cm. Gale-force winds and snow falls abated for the start of this working week, so conditions have improved for skiing and boarding in recent days. There is also a lot more terrain to be explored given the improvement in the natural base.

Stronger winds are expected to redevelop later today with the approach of a cold front from the southwest. This front should generate fresh snow falls below 1500m through tonight and early Thursday morning.

Falls of 5-15cm are expected with this system.

Thursday should be a decent day to hit the slopes but it will still be fairly windy and below zero for most of the day, so rug up. 

Colder temperatures should persist through Friday, while strong winds should ease back a notch. Visibility should also improve, thanks to a building ridge of high pressure over Victoria and New South Wales. Overall this is looking like a great day to hit the slopes. 

Weather conditions are expected to deteriorate on Saturday, with strengthening winds, increasing clouds and rising temperature ahead of a cold front. The morning might be okay though, particularly for the resorts in New South Wales. 

Strong to gale-force winds are expected through Saturday night and the early hours of Sunday morning.

These should ease back during the day on Sunday, so conditions will improve for skiing and boarding during the day. There is not a lot of moisture associated with this frontal system but light rain is likely on Saturday evening before some light snow falls into Sunday morning.

Stronger winds will redevelop for Monday and Tuesday with the passage of yet another cold front across Victoria and southern New South Wales.

This front may bring 10-20cm of fresh snow to the resorts on Tuesday, with higher elevations seeing the upper end of this range.

Snow showers are likely to ease on Wednesday and retreat to around 1600 metres in the wake of the front. 

Check out the 7 day detailed forecasts for Australia.

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New Zealand, your snow dancing is working

New Zealand is under the influence of a cold and unstable westerly airflow this week and is likely to see bursts of fresh snow through today, Friday and Saturday. 

A cold front will cross the nation today, bringing snow falls of 5-15cm to South Island ski fields and Ruapehu in the north.

Locally heavier falls are possible, especially at higher elevations.

Cold southwest winds will be strong at times, before easing a little tonight.

Thursday morning will see a break between cold fronts, so this is looking like a decent time to ski. Stronger winds will redevelop into the afternoon and some snow is possible later in the day as the next cold front approaches from the Tasman Sea.

This next front will be associated with a large low pressure system, which is expected to bring periods of intense snow to higher parts of New Zealand through Friday and Saturday. Ruapehu is likely to see its biggest accumulations on Friday, Wanaka and Queenstown ski fields should see big falls during Saturday.

There should be at least 30cm of fresh snow for the ski fields with this system, but totals upwards of 50cm are possible, depending on how the low evolves. 

Weather conditions should moderate on Sunday as the low drifts eastwards away from New Zealand, so this is looking like a good day to find some fresh tracks. Check the latest road and warning information on this day though, as the heavy snowfalls might create some issues. 

Monday should be another good day in the mountains, with a developing high pressure system bringing more settled weather conditions and an improvement in visibility. 

The outlook for mid next week is a little uncertain at this stage but it looks as though there will be a period of stronger northwest winds and milder temperatures across the South Island. Therefore it will be best to take advantage of the colder conditions and fresh snow falls on Sunday and Monday if possible.

Check out the 7 day detailed forecasts for New Zealand.

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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.