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UPDATED: Weather Warning: Snow To Low Levels, Clutha, Southland, Stewart Island

Sep 27, 2020
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UPDATED: 10PM Sunday 27th September.

A significant cold outbreak with snow down to low levels in many parts of the South Island and severe gales across central New Zealand

A deep low to the southeast of New Zealand maintains strong to gale west to northwest winds across the country tonight (Sunday). A change to cold strong southwesterlies is forecast to spread up the country during tomorrow bringing snow down to low levels in many parts of the South Island.

Warning amounts of snow is expected above 300 metres in Fiordland and Southland and a heavy snow warning is now in force for these areas, while a heavy snow watch is in force for Otago, Westland north of Arthur’s Pass, Buller and Nelson west of Motueka. Additionally, west to northwest winds may approach severe gale in exposed parts of central New Zealand and wind warnings and watches are in force.

This continues to be a significant weather event. Strong winds could make driving hazardous, especially for high sided vehicles and motorcycles. Snow is also expected to affect many higher roads and passes across the South Island, causing disruption to travel.

Also, the combination of snow and strong cold southwest winds is likely to cause stress to livestock. People are urged to take extra precautions, especially those travelling, and to stay up to date with the latest forecasts and warnings for their area as the event unfolds.

Heavy Snow Warning

Heavy snow may disrupt travel in affected areas and could damage trees and powerlines. Cold conditions may cause stress for livestock.

Area: Fiordland
Valid: 24 hours from 11:00pm Sunday to 11:00pm Monday
Forecast: Snow is forecast to lower to near seal level. Heavy snow fall is expected above 300 metres where 10cm may accumulate in a 6 hour period at times, with total accumulations possibly reaching 20 to 30cm in 24 hours, but higher above 500 metres. Please note, snow down to near sea level may continue through to Tuesday evening with accumulations possibly reaching warning criteria (10cm in 6 hours) at times and this warning is likely to be extended.

Area: Southland south of Riversdale and Stewart Island
Valid: 24 hours from 11:00pm Sunday to 11:00pm Monday
Forecast: Snow is expected to lower to near sea level. Heavy snow fall is expected above 300 metres where 10cm of snow may accumulate in a 6 hour period at times, with total accumulations possibly reaching 15 to 25cm in 24 hours. Please note, snow down to near sea level may continue through to Tuesday evening with accumulations possibly reaching warning criteria (10cm in 6 hours) at times and this warning is likely to be extended.

Heavy Snow Watch

Area: Dunedin, Clutha and Central Otago south of Alexandra
Valid: 35 hours from 11:00am Monday to 10:00pm Tuesday
Forecast: Snow is expected to lower to 200 metres Monday morning then to near sea level during Monday afternoon and to continue through to Tuesday. Snow accumulations may meet warning criteria above 300 metres.

:::Update ends:::::

A significant weather event for New Zealand
An active frontal system is moving across the North Island this morning, bringing further rain and northwest gales.

In the wake of this, a very cold and unstable air mass will spread over southern New Zealand from the southwest, and snow is forecast to fall to low levels.

This continues to be a significant weather event. Strong winds could make driving hazardous, especially for high sided vehicles and motorcycles. Snow is also expected to affect many higher roads and passes across the South Island, causing disruption to travel. Also, the combination of snow and strong cold southwest winds is likely to cause stress to livestock.

People are urged to take extra precautions, especially those travelling, and to stay up to date with the latest forecasts and warnings for their area as the event unfolds.

Heavy Rain Watch

Area: Fiordland
Valid: 4 hours from 9:00am to 1:00pm Sunday
Forecast: Periods of heavy rain. Rainfall accumulations may approach warning criteria.

Heavy Snow Watch

Area: Fiordland
Valid: 48 hours from 6:00pm Sunday to 6:00pm Tuesday
Forecast: Snow is expected to lower to 300 metres Sunday evening, and then to near sea level during Monday morning, continuing through Tuesday. Snow accumulations may meet warning criteria above 300 metres.

Area: Clutha, Central Otago south of Alexandra, and Southland including Stewart Island
Valid: 45 hours from 1:00am Monday to 10:00pm Tuesday
Forecast: Snow is expected lower to 300 metres overnight Sunday then to near sea level during Monday morning and to continue through to Tuesday. Snow accumulations may meet warning criteria above 300 metres.

Source: metservice.com

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