Dry weekend cold enough to make snow

Freezing levels could drop low enough to produce snow over the North Island ski fields. File photo / Greg Bowker
Freezing levels could drop low enough to produce snow over the North Island ski fields. File photo / Greg Bowker

Mountain-goers can start planning their winter ski holidays as freezing temperatures let ski fields begin making snow this weekend.

The country is in for a mostly dry weekend following a rough week of weather, while freezing levels across the country drop low enough to make snow, forecasters predicted.
MetService meteorologist Rob Kerr said most eastern parts of the country would be dry tomorrow, and rain in the west would clear throughout the day.

"It's shaping up to be a much better weekend than we've had all week."

Isolated showers would linger in Auckland later tomorrow, clearing on Sunday with just a little "scrappy cloud" about.

The worst of the week's storm was over, but a similar system would be moving across the West Coast and Nelson on Sunday night.

Meanwhile, the "freezing level" would get down to about 1600 metres over the North Island ski fields on Saturday morning, Mr Kerr said.

"So they might be getting a bit of snow production there. It will be dry but it will be cool enough for them to be making snow."

South Island conditions would also be cold enough over the weekend for local fields to make their own snow.

WeatherWatch head analyst Philip Duncan said thunder and hail in the North Island today should give way to a much clearer weekend.

"Saturday sees the end of that rough weather that does peter out overnight tonight and tomorrow. Any showers and strong winds will clear by the end of Saturday."

Most places would be "much better" than they have been the last few days and Sunday was looking "fantastic" for most of the North Island, except for the South Island's West Coast.

"There's a heavy band of rain for the West Coast and Nelson. It's almost a repeat of the rough weather we've had this week."

The West Coast was desperate for a break from the wet weather, Mr Duncan said.

In the main centres

Whangarei: Showers gradually clearing for a warm afternoon on Saturday. Sunday will bring fine light winds and evening cloud. A high of 17C on both days.

Auckland: A bit cooler on Saturday with some scattered showers, and dry on Sunday. Temperatures will reach 16C on Saturday and 17C on Sunday.

Hamilton: Similar to Auckland but with fewer showers. A clear but cool start on Saturday with the odd shower and a fine day on Sunday. Temperatures will reach 15C both days.

Tauranga: Saturday morning cloud quickly clears for a high of 16C, making way for fine and settled Sunday with light winds and a high of 15C. 15C on both days.
Wellington: Showers clearing overnight for a cool but fine day on Saturday with a high of 13C. Sunday will be slightly cloudy with a high of 14C.

Christchurch: A dry weekend with clear skies and a cool start on Saturday and a high of 14C. Sunday will be dry and temperatures will reach 13C.

Dunedin: Similar to Christchurch with a few spots of rain early on Saturday. Mostly fine and dry for the rest of the weekend. Temperatures will reach 11C on Saturday and 12C on Sunday.

Source: MetService

- APNZ

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