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Summer snow and weekend wind

By Emily Norman

[email protected]

Snow on the Tararuas is not a common sight in summer.

But that’s exactly what Wairarapa residents woke up to yesterday morning.

MetService communications meteorologist Lisa Murray said while the snow dumping was “interesting” and “unusual” at this time of year, “it is not unheard of – believe it or not”.

“The low that brought all this weather to us across the country, it actually dragged up a lot of cold air behind it,” she said.

“That cold air started to spread throughout the country giving us some cold temperatures overnight.

“Temperatures were getting down to single digits in some places and we did get reports of snow up on the Tararuas, a dusting of snow down at Whakapapa [Mt Ruapehu], Fiordland and Southland.”

Ms Murray did not know how low temperatures had dropped overnight in the Tararuas as MetService did not have observations there.

“The Rimutaka Hill got down to about 5.4C, so you can imagine it would probably be about 3C or 4C in the Tararuas.

“Obviously, some places got chillier than that if they got snow.”

She said there wasn’t any indication that the snowfall would continue in the Tararuas over summer.

Looking forward to the long weekend, she said today would start off “not too badly”, but that a strong north-easterly would develop and cloud would increase.

“Rain comes in overnight on [today], so if you have outdoor activities to do, [today] is the day to do it.”

She said Sunday would turn to showers in the afternoon, with strong northerlies and gale in exposed places.

Monday, there will be “just the odd early shower”, but otherwise will be fine.

“You can promise people a bit of sunshine on Monday,” Ms Murray said.


  1. I can remember a Christmas Day ( or Boxing Day) back in the 1950s when it wasn’t just a sprinkling of snow on the tops of the Tararuas but a full dump that covered right down to the bottom of the foothills.

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Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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