Posted 12th July 2017.New Zealand is in the grips of a high impact severe Winter storm with high amounts of snow to half a meter, heavy rain to 150mm, storms with hail, gales up to 140km/hr and 7m huge waves still yet to come! The next 3 days is going to wild across many parts of NZ as a deep low cranks up just to the East of the North Island on Wednesday before tracking North – North West on Thursday and Friday. This low is also dragging up very cold polar air from Antarctica already producing snow to sea level in the South with snow expected down to 500m in the North. The weather system has prompted the closure of a number of roads due to black ice and snow. Live photos can be found here! The following Severe Weather Warnings have been sourced via NZ Met Service @ 9:51 am 12th July 2017.
HEAVY SNOW WARNING – AREA/S AFFECTED – Inland mid and north Canterbury and the Kaikoura District
FORECAST – Further snow expected through today and early tomorrow, easing late Thursday afternoon. In the 33 hours from 9am today to 6pm Thursday, expect 20 to 30 cm of snow above 400 metres with 10cm likely down to 200 metres. Note higher parts of Kaikoura District above 500 metres may get up to 50 cm of snow. FREEZING LEVEL: About 500 metres.
AREA/S AFFECTED –Central North Island High Country, including the ranges of Hawkes Bay and Manawatu
FORECAST – Heavy snow expected above 600 metres from this afternoon through to Thursday afternoon with lesser amounts down to 400 metres. The snow level is forecast to rise to above 800 metres later on Thursday and turn to rain below this level. In the 30 hours from midday today to 6pm Thursday, expect 20 to 30 cm of snow above 600 metres and 10 cm down to 400 metres. Note, higher parts of these regions above 800 metres could see up to 50 cm of snow during this period. FREEZING LEVEL: Lowering to 800 metres this afternoon, rising to 1200 metres Thursday afternoon.
HEAVY RAIN WARNING– AREA/S AFFECTED – Wairarapa including the Tararua District, Wellington, Kapiti and the ranges of Manawatu
FORECAST Heavy rain is expected at times through to early Friday morning, with the heaviest falls during Thursday. In the 24 hours from midnight Wednesday to midnight Thursday, expect 100 to 150 mm about the hills and ranges, with 70 to 100 mm about lower lying parts of Wairarapa and Wellington. Note, this precipitation will fall as heavy snow about higher parts of ranges.
FORECAST – Southerly gales are expected to become severe this afternoon and evening and persist through Thursday before easing early Friday. The strongets winds are expected from Wednesday night through to Thursday afternoon with gusts of 140 km/h or more likely, especially about Wellington.
AREA/S AFFECTED –Taranaki
FORECAST – Southerly gales expected to become severe, with gusts of 120 km/h from Thursday morning until Thursday night.
Large waves up to 7 meters are also expected through Cook Strait and along Southern and Eastern coastal regions. These conditions may lead to some localized low lying coastal inundation especially around Wellington.
The 9am ferry from Picton to Wellington braved the huge seas across Cook Strait at 9am on Wednesday morning. Everyone traveling on the ferry were sitting on the floor or laying down in toilets with vomit bags. Cutlery and glass were breaking inside with a ceiling panel coming loose. Sailings have now been cancelled until Friday. Image Credit: MONIQUE FORD/STUFF