Snow trends 18th August


After one of the most tranquil weeks of the season, winter returns to the South Island this weekend, delivering some fresh powder—music to the ears of the country’s snow hounds. A few rounds of snow are expected across ski fields through the middle of next week, followed by a potentially bigger boost to snow bases.

Snowbase change: New Zealand skifields - 18 August 2016

South Island

If you’re looking to hit the slopes around Queenstown, your best bet is early on Saturday. From Saturday afternoon, winds will pick up as periods of snow arrive. Sunday will be a particularly gusty day, so exercise caution if you are planning to head to a ski field. Farther north, light snow and flurries will affect Canterbury’s ski fields from Saturday afternoon and continue into Sunday as winds turn stronger. Light snow and flurries are expected to continue on Monday, though winds will slacken, making for what looks like a good ski or snowboard day for those on holiday on the South Island. Snow is expected to steady again on Tuesday into Tuesday night along with slightly gustier winds. At this point, Wednesday and Thursday look to offer decent conditions before a stronger storm arrives late in the week.

North Island

Excellent conditions are in store for Mt Ruapehu this weekend, particularly on Sunday, as high pressure brings generally dry weather and plenty of sunshine. A round of snow is expected on Monday along with some briefly gustier winds before more settled weather arrives on Tuesday. One more push of snow is possible in the mid-week before some relaxed conditions arrive Thursday ahead of a potentially stronger late-week storm. The late-week system is currently expected to come with a surge of unseasonably mild air, so this may result in higher snow levels.

Extended outlook

If you like snow, we have good news! The end of August and early September looks rather unsettled, possibly bringing several more rounds of snow to the country, especially on the South Island. The disturbed weather might linger through the first 10 days of September and be accompanied by a wintry cool shot or two.