Cold Wave Coming, Then Warm, Dry February in the South

Baraa Mohialdeen
Published 2 weeks ago on 8 February, 2024
New Zealand cold snap forecast

A brief cold snap is forecast to move across New Zealand cold snap forecast, with a significant drop in temperatures expected. However, forecasts indicate that a hot and dry February will follow for much of the South. MetService meteorologist Alain Baillie has warned of a strong cold front moving up the South Island, which will bring a stark change in weather conditions.

Key takeaways

  • Strong cold front to bring rain and lower temperatures this weekend.
  • Temperatures to drop six degrees below average in some areas.
  • Wellington and Christchurch to experience significant temperature fall.
  • Hot, dry conditions to return post-cold snap, persisting through February.
  • Niwa forecasts meagre rainfall for much of New Zealand cold snap forecast  over the next month.
The upcoming weekend’s cold snap will be a temporary shift from the recent high temperatures, with a chilly southerly wind making it feel particularly brisk before a return to dry and warm weather.

New Zealand cold snap forecast Weekend Front

The New Zealand cold snap forecast to hit before hot, dry February for much of the South will see a strong cold front sweep across the South Island on Saturday. This will result in a period of rain and a subsequent cold southerly flow. Wellington will feel the brunt of the front by Saturday night, leading to a cooler Sunday morning with fresh southerly winds.

Wellington’s Lunar New Year celebrations may also face strong northerly winds on Saturday evening. The lower North Island and parts of the South Island will experience maximum temperatures approximately six degrees below the seasonal average on Sunday, a stark contrast to the recent 30C highs.

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Return to Dry Conditions Expected Post-Cold Snap

After the weekend’s cold snap, a large area of high pressure is predicted to bring dry weather to much of New Zealand cold snap forecast. Niwa meteorologist Seth Carrier suggests that while some regions will see modest rainfall, the overall outlook for February remains hot and dry, with meagre rainfall expected across the country.

The trend of lower-than-average precipitation is set to continue into March, with all of Niwa’s rainfall scenarios indicating drier conditions. This consistent forecast lends increased confidence to the prediction of a dry end to the summer season.

City Saturday High (C) Sunday High (C) Expected Rainfall (mm)
Wellington 24 17 15-25
Christchurch 24 17 15-30
Blenheim 35 High teens <5

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The cold snap to hit before hot, dry February for much of the South is a reminder of New Zealand cold snap forecast dynamic climate. While the weekend will bring cooler temperatures and a taste of winter, the overall trend for the coming weeks is a return to the hot and dry conditions that have been prevalent. Residents should prepare for a brief chill before the warmth settles back in, with water conservation likely becoming a priority as dry conditions persist.


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