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Very cold in parts of the South Island from Wed evening

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

A broad complex trough lying over the South Island is expected to slowly move away to the east during Wednesday and Thursday, allowing a strong, very cold southerly flow to spread over the South Island from late Wednesday and onto the North Island late Thursday and early Friday.

Temperatures are expected to become very cold over southern and eastern parts of the South Island from Wednesday evening to Thursday morning, with snow to near sea level and significant snowfall accumulations about central and northern Canterbury, including Banks Peninsula, and southern Marlborough above about 200 metres.

This watch is for the likelihood that snow will reach and exceed warning amounts (10cm in 6 hours, or 25cm in 24 hours) above 200 metres about Clutha, Dunedin, central and northern Canterbury, including Banks Peninsula, and southern Marlborough from Wednesday evening to Friday morning.

Snow is also expected to low levels about Southland and southern Fiordland. This watch is also for the possibility that accumulations may approach warning amounts above 200 metres in these areas from Wednesday evening to Friday morning.

It is very likely that some if not all of the above areas will be upgraded to a full Warning on Wednesday.

People should be aware that snowfalls are likely to cause widespread disruption to traffic, especially about alpine passes and higher level roads. Exposed parts of the South Island east coast are likely to experience blizzard conditions for a time during Thursday and Friday,which will put stress on livestock and make outdoor pursuits hazardous.

In addition, the southerly flow is expected to become very strong about central New Zealand on Thursday as a deep low develops east of the country. This watch is for the possibility that southerlies may rise to severe gale about northern Westland, Marlborough, Wellington, Cook Strait and the south Wairarapa coast from Thursday afternoon until Friday evening.

People in these areas are advised to stay up to date with the latest forecasts in the likely event that part of this watch becomes a warning.

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