The Crown Range looking epic after the snow last week, with a few decent top ups the South Island will be skiing into October. Image:: Ace Media
New Zealand Seasonal Snow Outlook | The Grasshopper
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There’s nowhere to hide with this seasonal forecast. At the end of March, the end of April and the end of May I maintained a consistent message that seasonal forecasts weren’t looking all that great, and that we might have a slow start about the Southern Lakes.
Thankfully things haven’t really turned out as planned. In the last six weeks we’ve seen a couple of decent southerly storms, a massive north-westerly event, and then the mother of all southerlies smashed Canterbury, bringing the heaviest snowfalls to that region in two decades.
So what do I say now? Well funnily enough the seasonal forecasts are still not looking all that conducive to South Island snowfall. We’re still expecting higher than average pressures south-east of New Zealand, and this would generally mean more frequent north-easterlies and less frequent westerlies. That will usually, on average, mean less snow.
But the weather is a wonderful thing, and fluctuations in the short term don’t really care too much about what the long term averages think. So we saw this once-in-20 years monster pop up last week and pretty much sort Canterbury out for the season, provided they can get a few small events here and there to freshen things up.
The Southern Lakes, well, they’re sitting pretty right now, and during the first week of July we’re going to see a sequence of fronts that could pepper Treble Cone with snow up high, but might also mean a bit of rain for Coronet down low.
After that, it is still possible things could get a bit lean, but they’d have to be very lean for things to turn bad.
For the North Island, the climate models point towards more rainfall than normal, so as things cool down through July/August I don’t see anything that would get in the way of Ruapehu’s base continuing to build. Good things take time.
That’s all from the Grassshopper. If you want to let us know what you reckon please join in the Facebook discussion below.