Winter flips the switch: Wet weather returns
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Posted June 15, 2020
Media Release: MetService
High pressure, dry air, and clear skies combined to bring calm frosty mornings across Aotearoa this past weekend. Some Otago towns saw their coldest June temperatures on record, with Alexandra Airport recording severe frosts for both Saturday and Sunday mornings. This week, MetService is forecasting winter to flip the switch and show its wetter, changeable side.
A rainy front moving up the South Island today is reminiscent of the more familiar winter westerly , but with a warm twist. MetService Meteorologist Tahlia Crabtree explains, “Strong northwesterlies and rain is to be expected during winter, however the air with this front is warmer than is typical. Overnight minimums across the country will be warmer than average, while eastern South Island regions will see temperatures climb to the high teens during Tuesday and Wednesday.”
Another front arrives on Wednesday, spreading rain with a stark southerly change across the country on Thursday. Snow is likely for alpine areas, but especially for the northern Canterbury High Country and about the Kaikōura Ranges. “Keep an eye on our Road Snow Warnings if you’re planning to traverse any mountain passes, especially father north,” advises Crabtree. After a few warm days some South Island ski fields will be happy to see some natural snowfall towards the end of the working week.
Wet weather is expected to continue through to Friday. Two broad ridges of high pressure over the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea create a low pressure sandwich around Aotearoa on Friday. There is still uncertainty about where the most rain will fall, but the driest regions are top contenders for being the soggiest this weekend.