Australia and NZ snow outlook ahead for the last week of winter

Cardrona
Cardrona. Photo credit: Jen Houltham

It’s the last week of winter and as the season enters spring, so do conditions for Australia with warming temperatures hitting the resorts this week and next.

In New Zealand, South Island resorts could see some good snow falls in time for next weekend.

Our meteorologist, Alex Zadnik, resorts on the week long outlook ahead. 

Australia – feeling hot, hot, hot

A cold front is due to cross Victoria and NSW during Wednesday afternoon and evening, bringing fresh snow falls to the resorts. Most resorts should pick up around 5cm, but Buller and Baw Baw could do a little better with closer to 10cm. Snowfalls will tend to clear in Victoria during Thursday, but occasional falls may continue in NSW. 

A developing high pressure system should bring lighter winds and settled weather conditions to the resorts on Friday and Saturday. Some cloud may linger in New South Wales but clearer skies are expected in Victoria. Day time temperatures will climb above zero, so there should be softer spring like skiing conditions on offer.

Warmer than average conditions will persist into Sunday morning as northwest winds increase in strength ahead of a front. Cloud will increase during the morning and some light rain is possible at times during the day.

This rain should tend to snow above about 1600-1700m during Sunday evening as the front moves through, but overall it’s not looking like a great system for the resorts.

The cold air passing over the resorts on Sunday evening will be short-lived, with warmer weather quickly redeveloping through Monday. Maximum temperatures are expected to exceed 5 degrees on the higher slopes in Victoria and will only be a touch lower for Thredbo Top Station.

Conditions are likely to get quite soft on the lower runs of all resorts during Monday afternoon. Similar conditions are then expected on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

Extremely warm conditions are a chance from Wednesday into Thursday, with an unusual burst of early September heat making its way from central Australia into the southeastern states.

Colder air and snowfalls may return by Friday 6th September. 

Full 7 day forecasts here.

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New Zealand chance of some decent snow

Cool to cold conditions will persist across New Zealand on Wednesday, while westerly winds strengthen across the South Island ahead of a cold front.

The Queenstown and Wanaka ski fields may see gusts of 70km/h or more, so be prepared for windy conditions. Winds will also increase for Ruapehu during the day, but not to the same extent as on the South Island. Skies will be mostly sunny for Turoa and Whakapapa, so it looks like a good day for skiers and boarders. 

The front will bring colder conditions and fresh snow falls to the South Island through Thursday and Friday, with around 5-10cm of fresh snow for the Queenstown and Wanaka ski fields (maybe a little more for the higher peaks). Winds will still be strong on Thursday which may limit visibility but should ease back a notch on Friday.

The North Island won’t get quite as cold on Thursday and Friday but the higher runs of Turoa and Whakapapa may pick up more than 20cm of fresh snow through this period. 

A ridge of high pressure should bring settled weather conditions to New Zealand over the weekend, so Saturday and Sunday are both looking like nice days to hit the slopes. 

An increase in both cloud and winds is likely during Monday, with the approach of a low pressure system from the Tasman Sea. This low may bring a burst of heavy rain to the North Island on Tuesday before colder air arrives from Wednesday into Thursday.

Some decent snowfalls are possible for New Zealand’s ski fields from Wednesday into Thursday next week as a cold front collides with a moisture laden sub tropical airmass.

It is difficult to have confidence on how this dynamic weather pattern will play out at this range, so we’ll look at this in more detail in next week’s update.  

Full 7 day forecasts here. 

Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of SnowsBest.com. A long time travel and lifestyle journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN, TIME, Wallpaper*, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast Traveler and more. She was the Fairfax snow blogger from 2007 to 2017 and the Southern Hemisphere editor for OnTheSnow. Rachael is also a documentary producer, author, radio announcer and humorist.