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Chilly welcome to winter: Get set for brisk Southerlies and frosted mornings

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Staff Reporter

06 May 2024, 2:29 AM

Chilly welcome to winter: Get set for brisk Southerlies and frosted morningsHibiscus Coast residents can expect overnight temperatures to dip into single digits this week, with Thursday forecast to be particularly chilly at just 6 degrees Celsius. Photo by Mateusz Sobczak

MetService is predicting a week of biting chills and frosty mornings as New Zealand embraces the final leg of autumn.

This week marks a stark contrast to last year, with a significant drop in temperatures signaling the impending arrival of winter.

"This May is quite different from last year," observes MetService meteorologist Mmathapelo Makgabutlane.

"Many Kiwis might remember the tropical nights of May 2023, where places like Auckland and Hamilton saw record-breaking warmth. This year, however, expect overnight lows to dip into the mid-single digits in Auckland City, with Hamilton experiencing near-freezing temperatures in the early hours."

The South Island can expect the coldest days to be Monday and Thursday, with the most bone-chilling mornings arriving on Thursday in the far south.

Queenstown will see temperatures plummet to -1°C, while Christchurch will start Friday at a brisk -3°C.

The North Island will also feel the chill on Thursday and Friday, with the cold extending even to typically temperate regions like Northland and Auckland.

Wednesday and Friday mornings are predicted to be the coldest in the North Island, with Taupō experiencing -2°C on Wednesday and Hamilton dropping to 0°C by Friday morning.

"Frost will be a common sight this week," adds Makgabutlane. "With longer nights and colder air settling over the country, frost could linger well into the mornings on some days."

This persistent cold snap is attributed to several cold fronts moving northwards, bringing rain and a noticeable temperature drop.

"These fronts will deliver most of their rain to the eastern parts of both main islands, with some rain even reaching eastern Northland," explains Makgabutlane.

These fronts will also bring brisk southerly winds, particularly affecting the lower and eastern regions of both the South and North Islands.

"The combination of rain, chilly southerlies, and icy temperatures will undoubtedly create a wintry feel," remarks Makgabutlane.

"However, amidst the wintery mix, there's good news – brighter days are forecast for Tuesday and Friday."