Detailed Forecast

New Zealand Forecast – Cold Easterlies to Deliver 15-30 cm to Canterbury

Published early Monday 17th June 2024

New Zealand resorts received a couple of dustings over the weekend and the snow guns were up and running for long periods. It was fortunate timing as this allowed Cardrona, The Remarkables and Mt Hutt to scrape over the line and open their gates on Saturday. Coronet Peak is still waiting for a few more centimetres or the chance to make more snow, while Treble Cone, Mt Ruapehu resorts and other club fields will start opening the last weekend of June onwards.

The low that arrived in the Tasman Sea last week Wednesday will continue to hang about there for the rest of this week. It’s got to be some kind of record for the slowest-moving weather system in the Tasman – the slowest I can remember anyway. Part of the low will spilt off and cross the North Island today, Monday, ushering in a cold easterly flow over the South Island for the next four days.

Not only will resorts get the chance to pump out a tonne of the man-made stuff, but Canterbury is in line to score 15-30cm of powder, the bulk of it falling on Tuesday, while the Southern Lakes will also receive a light dusting of up to 2-5cm.

Latest pressure analysis and satellite image. Source: The BOM (vandalised by the Grasshopper)

Monday 17th June

Cloudy, or becoming cloudy over the South Island during the morning, then light snow will start to fall during the afternoon as SE winds pick up. The visibility will drop once the snow kicks in and the snow guns should fire up too.

Tuesday 18th June

The snowfall rate will pick up a bit in Canterbury during the early hours before dawn, then will start to back off from afternoon while snow levels and temperatures also start to drop significantly. Low visibility and cold SE winds, so wrap up warm.

Mostly cloudy for the Southern Lakes where any light flurries reaching the resorts will eventually peter out. Temperatures will also drop significantly during the afternoon and there’ll be stiff E-NE winds.

Wednesday 19th June

A cloudy day for the South Island, with light snow showers and flurries from time to time for Canterbury resorts where reduced visibility is likely. Chilly NE winds

Thursday 20th June

Mostly light snowfall in Canterbury gradually peters out by the end of the day. NE winds and reduced visibility is likely again.

A fairly cloudy day for the Southern Lakes with a N-NW breeze. Light snowfall is possible at night.

Extended Forecast

There’s a lot of uncertainty from Friday 21st June onwards as weather models continue to struggle with this Tasman Low. South Island resorts may see showers of rain and/or snow before the low begins to cross the country from Sunday 23rd onwards. This could usher in another bout of cold easterlies which would bring heavy snowfall to South Island resorts. It’s a very tantalising scenario, but models love to blow things up this far into the future, so prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

That’s all from me today folks. The next forecast is Wednesday, see you then.



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