Cold snap likely to bring snow for Canterbury High Country and Plains 

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Jun 05, 2022 |

A very cold period of winter weather from Friday is forecast with snow for parts of Canterbury.

Blue Skies Weather & Climate Services forecaster Tony Trewinnard said while it is too early to produce a clear forecast of where, when and how much snow might fall, he’s confident that this will be a very cold time, and that frequent higher-level snowfall and some low-level snowfalls are likely in the South Island during this time, possibly including Canterbury.  

“Generally speaking, these events are more likely to bring significant snowfalls to Southland and Otago than Canterbury.”

 For farmers:

Current risk assessment data puts the chances of at least minor snow accumulations at 40% risk for the Canterbury Plains (including potentially the eastern Plains), 60% for Banks Peninsula and the eastern hill country, and 80% for the western hills of Canterbury. 

“On the Plains the highest risk period is the night of Sunday 12th through Monday 13th. However, until we are much closer to these dates it is impossible to assess any details. Remember that the Plains often miss snow flurries which affect other parts of the region due to small variations in wind direction, and this may well be the case again.”

Banks Peninsula is more exposed to low level snow flurries than the Plains, and the highest risk period there is the night of Sunday 12th through Monday 13th, and again possibly around the Wednesday of that week. Brief periods of strong winds are possible also.

The eastern hill country will experience periods of showers with snow flurries to 500m on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th, with a possibility of snow to lower levels on the night of Sunday 12th. Current indications are that weather should clear there on Monday 13th.

The western hills country will experience frequent periods of snow showers to 500m from Friday through Sunday, then clearing weather the night of Sunday 12th. Winds will often be strong. 

For travellers:

Expect alpine passes to be affected by snow from Saturday 11th onwards. Several periods of severe weather over the subsequent 4-5 days may bring frequent periods of disruption.


The week from Friday 10th onwards is likely to see extended spells of strong to gale force southwesterly winds, very cold temperatures, and frequent low level snow falls in Southland and Otago. Regular snow falls on the ranges and higher hills of Nelson and Marlborough are also likely for a few days.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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