Snowfall in New Zealand

New Zealand is well known for its spectacular mountain ranges especially during the winter when they are covered in a fresh layer of snow. It is not usual to see that snow level dropping down below the mountains but when it does it can cause disruption to New Zealand’s public travel networks.

Flying under the RADAR

By Lisa Murray, Communications Meteorologist.

The term RADAR stands for RAdio Detection And Ranging and was coined in 1940 by the United States Signal Corps, although it was German physicist Heinrich Hertz who showed that radio waves could be reflected from solid objects, in around 1886. During World War II, radar technology developed rapidly and has since become an essential tool in meteorology, as well as in other areas such as air traffic control.

Significant heavy rain & gales 5-8 May

By Peter Little, MetService Meteorologist

As a slow-moving ridge of high pressure departs to the east today, a deep northwesterly flow spreads onto New Zealand ahead of a trough.

Ensemble Forecasting

The wisdom of the crowd Wisdom of a crowd At a county fair in Plymouth, England, in 1906, several hundred fair-goers entered a contest to guess the weight of an ox. The average guess was extremely close to the true weight of the beast – even though some of the individual estimates were wildly off the mark!

Severe weather expected on Sunday and Monday


An intense weather system that has already brought severe weather to parts of Australia has been moving slowly east over the Tasman Sea towards New Zealand. This system has brought heavy rain to the southwest of the South Island this morning. Around 400mm of rain have accumulated in some parts of Fiordland.

A tempestuous end to April - update

This blog contains the latest on the wild weather heading our way this long weekend. Read on for details of the current severe weather outlook and watch, as well as the latest chilly temperature forecasts for Monday and Tuesday.

Severe weather

A tempestuous end to April

By Emma Blades, MetService Meteorologist

Out over the Tasman Sea, a warm and moist weather system is gradually making its way southeast towards New Zealand. Meanwhile cold weather is brewing in the Southern Ocean – preparing to blast the warm air away.

First the wet weather

A satellite image for every occasion

By Rebekah LaBar, MetService Meteorologist Satellites are one of a meteorologist’s best tools. Satellite images can tell us where weather systems are and how fast they are moving. They can also often help us distinguish between many things such as thick and thin clouds and high and low clouds, as well as detecting snow, fog, volcanic ash, smoke, thunderstorms, and much more.

Jack Frost to make an appearance

By Rebekah LaBar, MetService Meteorologist

The low-pressure system that brought cold weather, snow, and thunderstorms to New Zealand is pulling off to the east today. An unsettled southwest flow will continue to dominate the weather this week, although temperatures will gradually rise as we head towards the weekend and the recent snowfalls will start to melt.