NZ Weekly Weather Blog – Snow on the Horizon!

September 12th, 2011

Winter returning to The Remarkables 13 September. Image:: The Remarkables

Snow Journal| Matt White

Kia ora everyone! Hope you have all had a good week, it’s been hard watching the snow slowly melt away but at the same time I have had some of the most fun days so far over the past week…

Soft spring snow means you can push your boundaries a little and try things you wouldn’t usually attempt in colder, icier conditions. Whether this be in the park or just a slope that had seemed out of your reach all winter, it’s time to end this season with a feeling of progression!

Snowpark NZ is one of these places, they currently have terrain set up for everyone of all abilities. Not into boxes or rails? well there’s plenty of snow features for you to jump around on whether you want to go 70 ft in the air or half a foot .. or even get your carve on.. it’s well worth a look if you haven’t already been there.

On Saturday I ventured up to Coronet Peak to check out the annual Quest/ Lib Tech banked slalom, the weather wasn’t behaving itself as I had hoped but still there was a lot of people who ventured out into the windy/rainy conditions in some really epic dress up attire. A ton of snowball throwing, a wee bit of racing and a couple of cheeky beers later and there were smiles all round. Such an awesome event that everyone and anyone could enjoy, if you weren’t there then you should definitely check it out next year!

(Right)Costume fun at the Quest/Lib Tech Banked Slalom Image: Quest Queenstown. Image:: Coronet Peak

Lets take a look at the weather for this week..

Don’t put away your winter gear yet, this week is looking rather cold and wet… some high winds and low freezing levels mean you will want to pack a range of gear in if you venture up the mountains this week. For all you powder hounds this might come as good news, the parts of the country that look like they will benefit the most from this storm are the North Island fields and also the Southern Lakes.. the only factor that could pose a problem is the wind.

North Island

Whakapapa/Turoa/Tukino– Looking like a snowy week ahead, Snow down to 1000m in most parts with at times gale force W winds. Temperatures set to rise by Friday afternoon with showers for Saturday and clearing up by Sunday afternoon.
Maunganui– Snow forecast to 900m for Monday/Tuesday, a few small showers on Wednesday with strong to gale SW winds and changing to W on Thursday. Scattered showers expected in between fine patches for the rest of the week.

South Island

North Canterbury
Rainbow– Snow down to 800m, at times even lower during the weekdays with a moderate W wind that will turn to SW midweek and at times be gale force in strength. For the weekend there may be a couple of light showers but it should mostly be fine, maybe overcast.
Hamner Springs/Mt Lyford– Fresh snow down to 900m for Monday/Tuesday, freezing level rising to 1800m for Wednesday adding rain to the new snow. A mixture of rain and snow for Thursday/Friday and slowly clearing for the weekend with maybe the odd shower amongst fine patches.

Temple Basin, Broken River, Cragieburn, Cheeseman, Mt Hutt, Porter Heights, Mt Olympus– Snow to 900m and moderate SW winds for Monday/Tuesday, Freezing level rising to 1800m overnight and through to Saturday will be a mixture of rain and snow showers plus strong to gale W winds. By Sunday this should have calmed down and cleared up nicely.
South Cantebury
Fox Peak, Mt Dobson Round Hill, Ohau– Snow Showers down to 800m and moderate SW winds for Monday/Tuesday then warming up Wednesday with conditions fluctuating between snow and rain showers mixed with gale W winds over the next few days, looking to clear up between Saturday evening and Sunday morning.

Southern Lakes
Treble Cone, Cardrona, Snow Park/Snow Farm, Remarkables, Coronet Peak– Snow down to 700m over Monday/Tuesday with SW winds up to 70 km/hr, warming briefly for Wednesday with a few showers followed by another cold snap and more snowfall for Thursday/Friday. Looking to be relatively clear for the weekend but maybe a few small showers on Sunday.

Here’s how the resorts are shaping up snow-wise.

Snow Bases across the country (cm)

Whakapapa 178
Turoa 275
Tukino 320
Manganui 250
Rainbow 105
Hamner Springs 130
Mt Lyford 130
Mt Hutt 80
Porters 85
Mt Cheeseman 120
Mt Olympus 152
Cragieburn 120
Temple Basin 243
Broken River 125
Fox Peak 25
Mt Dobson 87
Roundhill 40
Ohau 105
Treble Cone 103
Cardrona 110
Snow Park 79
Snow Farm 75
Coronet Peak 117
Remarkables 75
Queenstown Snowcats Closed for season

I don’t know about you but I am pretty excited at the thought of another powder day, it seems as though they have been few and far between this year, it’s just been one of those winters unfortunately! If it does snow, be careful out there. A lot of snow has melted bringing to the surface new hazards that with fresh snow over the top could be rather nasty to hit with your board/skis/body!!

Have fun out there everyone, I’ll see you all back here next week!

Rugby World Cup excitement at Mt Hutt 9 September. Image:: Mt Hutt