Friday July 8 and school is out. And somehow, as if the weather gods knew, the snow is ON!
Let’s take a look!
We’ve had a significant Northerly trend so far this season, which tends to favour more Westerly ski areas. So the likes and Treble Cone, Ohau, Roundhill, many of the Canterbury areas have got great snowfalls so far, albeit at times with plenty of wind. The Canterbury club fields, after a few tough seasons are looking stellar, and if you’ve even been tempted, this is the year to have that “club experience”! Coronet Peak we hear has the best opening in forever, and Cardrona and The Remarkables are skiing well, but it’s still early season. Up north, and we’ll come to this, Whakapapa and Turoa are still not open.
I know, we still don’t have forecast on our site, it’s a long story with two villains, time and money … But we’re getting there we think, and hey, you’d have to live under a rock to not know about weather in NZ! Like you probably, as we’ve said previously, we look at many sources, primarily snow-forecast.com and opensnow.com. The subscriptions are reasonable and the information great. However like all weather services, often the estimates are “generous” so always take the info with a grain of salt. One report we don’t use is MetService, while the overall situation is helpful, in our experience the actual ski area forecasting is far less than accurate, and the way they present their data is not ideal.
And did I say App? Well the update (for Android and iOS) is on the way, and it might include forecasts, before the site does. My son is squeezing it in around Uni work, skiing at Mt Hutt (it’s cheap for students), and back country missions. So I think he’s as motivated as you might be to make it awesome. No promises, but an update is coming with more report info, scrolling thru webcams, and zoomable webcam images.
Anyway, the weather. There’s a lot on the way! We like Metvuw for an overall picture and you’ll see (Tuesdays map) the system, delivering big moist northly flows, then turning southerly as it crosses NZ.
This is a classic system for Canterbury, warm flows, high freezing level, then the NZ snow kicks in, turning Southerly, and dumps! Not surprisingly, Mt Hutt and Canterbury are in the firing line. This is probably bigger than the last storm. So Monday and Tuesday are probably the big snow days with lots happening around them. All in all, awesome news for the ski areas. There will be falls all around the country, lighter in the south, heavy through Canterbury, and hopefully a solid fall at Ruapehu.
There will be many kids, and mums and dads, hoping they get open! A couple of days ago they updated their situation, essentially after the big fall 2 or 3 weeks ago there hasn’t been enough natural snow, or snowmaking conditions to join the dots and get the mountain open. There’s a decent base, but one more storm is needed to get running. But it’s not all bad news, you might have heard that this week the Volcanic alert was dropped to Level 1, meaning the High Noon can open. And, snow is forecast the next few days, maybe 20+cm over the weekend and another 30+ starting next Wednesday. Fingers crossed! And snow making is in full force at Alpine Meadows at Turoa, opening Saturday. weather permitting.
Starting in Nelson, Rainbow has had a fabulous opening with tons of snow. Now fully open for the holidays we could see up to 50cm of snow there in the next 10 days. They will be closed Saturday, but hopefully open Sunday. Further south Hanner and Lyford have been doing well, more snow always welcome, and that’s coming with 40 and 80cm+. Now, the Craigieburns and Hutt. Now it’s getting silly. The forecasts are pretty consistent, around 1m+ in the next 10 days. That’s on top of a pretty stellar base already. So I think it’s safe to say, this is Canterbury's year. It’s time you came and visited! All* areas will be open after this fall, Cheeseman’s Saturday opening is now maybe Sunday. *Except Olympus, could be Aug 6, could be earlier, hopefully! And Porters opened Wednesday, and Big Mama was open, that doesn’t happen very often!
Everyone is open, and again the forecast is stunning. Fox, Dobson and Roundhill will possibly score higher, 70cm+. But Ohau won’t be far behind, and that’s on top of an already great base. And just reported, 25cm and counting! You can’t go wrong skiing the Mackenzie, great snow, no crowds, awesome views. We love it! #notsponsored!
Well they have a had a ridiculous day today. Tons of roads closed (Crown Range And Lindis) and Coronet was the only open area today, with 10-15cm at the other areas. The forecast is more moderate over the next few days, potentially 20-30cm, although TC will get more. Important to note that Coronet and The Remarks are experiencing staff shortages due to Covid, so they are currently recommending hiring gear in town.
One great option if you want a day off, is trying Cross country at Snow Farm, this week it was looking picture perfect! Even better after this weeks storm we’re sure.
Looking very amazing! While Ruapehu might be “slow starting” that’s not unusual and before you know it they’ll have the biggest base in the country!
As far as the school holidays, there’s going to be snow! Not bluebird conditions and maybe the occasional closure, but it’s going to be worth it!
Keep an eye on those snow reports.