Record-Breaking Storm Forecasted to Hit New Zealand This Week | Almost 200″ in 24 Hours Possible

Clay Malott | | WeatherWeather
New Zealand, record breaking storm,
Total precipitation (not snow). Photo credit: WeatherBell

Just as the news of lightened New Zealand restrictions came, another bundle of great news popped into the forecast for the Kiwis. A large spring storm is forecasted to hit both the North and South islands of New Zealand and will drop significant snow totals at resorts around the country from September 11th to the 14th. This storm could bring record-breaking snowfall to Mt. Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak.

The snow should start at most mountainous regions above 6,000′ before quickly dropping to 2,250′ by nighttime. The exact timing of the storm is a bit up in the air, but most models agree on the precipitation beginning sometime early on the 12th. The heaviest precipitation will progressively move further and further north as the storm progresses.

In terms of expected totals, it’s a toss-up. Some resorts are forecasted for 10 inches or less, with most being in the 15-25″ range. Most resorts should get enough snow for amazing skiing conditions on September 13th and 14th.

The most incredible part about this storm is the sheer amount of moisture that it’s carrying. Unfortunately, there is not much convective activity in it, meaning most lower-elevation areas will not receive significant totals. However, higher elevations, like 12,218 foot Mt. Cook, could break records.

On the 11th, the models are showing that Cook could get up to 175 inches of snow! That’s in just 24 hours. To put that in perspective, that’s about 14.5 feet, which is absolutely absurd 24-hour snowfall. The average of the major models for Cook’s summit is about 140 inches, so don’t be surprised if the Canadian GDPS’ 175″ forecast busts! The final storm total should be between 190 and 220 inches.

This storm should be very good at high elevation resorts, particularly on the South Island. Happy skiing to all the Kiwi SnowBrains readers!

New Zealand, record breaking storm,
Impressive moisture transport. Model credit: NCEP GFS

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