No-one can say we haven't been warned; there's crappy weather on the way; possibly the worst storm this winter. The Dom-Post sums it up:
A fierce blizzard is set to smash its way up the country, bringing atrocious weather, freezing conditions and dumping heavy snow to sea level.
Emergency services are bracing for chaos and possible power failures, and widespread road closures are expected to disrupt thousands of motorists.
Huge waves are likely to pound Wellington's south coast and ambulance authorities are warning the elderly and very young to stay indoors and watch for signs of hypothermia.
"This is not just a cold snap coming up, it's a major winter storm," MetService spokesman Bob McDavitt said.
Blue Skies forecaster Tony Trewinnard said the models signalled it could be one of the coldest storms in living memory.
The intense surge of freezing air is being labelled a "perfect storm". WeatherWatch predicts temperatures will dip even lower than in last month's cold snap, when they reached near zero.
Freezing winds fresh off the Antarctic ice-shelf will hit the lower South Island from today before moving north.
MetService says the big chill will reach the southern North Island by tomorrow night and last several days. The south coast of the North Island can expect a hammering from large waves.
It certainly sounds as though this is going to be the nastiest storm we've seen this winter. And full marks to MetService, who sent out its first Special Weather Advisory (we subscribe by e-mail) on Thursday. The weather boffins have been tracing this system for a few days, and have given those likely to be affected plenty of advance notice. Here's the latest Advisory and the graphic of the latest Severe Weather Outlook:
And we have to admit that we were more than a little surprised when it was suggested that we might "potentially" see snow to sea level in Wanganui! On the Monday morning of the last storm we had sleet, and a temperature on the car's gauge of 2*C as we were driving to work, and snow fell and settled within ten minutes of the city. That there's even a chance that snow might be seen right to sea level here suggests that this is a particularly nasty storm.
In the meantime, we have a weather-dependant event planned for tomorrow, so we're hoping that the shitty weather delays its visit to Wanganui until around 3pm or later. After that we can head indoors, crank up the gas fire, and cook up the winter comfort food, hoping we don't have to dig ourselves out on Monday morning!
Keep warm everyone; batten down the hatches and ride the storm out. And to all those who risk life and limb to make our roads passable and safe, and our power stay on; thanks in anticipation of your sterling efforts.