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The winter storm of 2022
Coming to a ski area near you! Credit: NIWA

Weather is a funny old thing eh? Almost universally the seasonal outlook for Winter 2022 was average to warm, like the last season or two. And autumn has certainly lived up to that, the second warmest in recent years. Unusually, Mt Hutt had their early season snow wiped out by high temps and warm winds, as did Ruapehu.

But then, Australia gets hammered with up to 1m in snow, in June! And ski areas are opening. Best opening snow in decades! And while that storm didn’t really deliver in NZ, there’s a new one on the way, undoubtedly you’ve heard about it. Incoming!

An Apology ...

Before we get to that, a disclaimer, and apology. We’ve had a few things going on here at snow.nz, so we are well behind the 8 ball in updating the site. The good news is that we’re onto it, and we’re getting close to rolling out our 2022 forecast data from a new weather provider, which should be far more accurate than our previous supplier, Yr.no. In the meantime, like we know you all do also, we’re looking at a variety of resources, everything from Windy.com, to snow-forecast.com, and opensnow.com.   

It's Coming! 

We also like Metvuw and their latest charts tells the story, we’re about to get hammered!

MetVuw rain nz 2022060618 120

Think cold temps, low freezing level, and tons of precipitation in most places. Basically, this is the snow storm that will set up New Zealand ski areas for Winter 2022. And typically when we get a start like this and the base is set early season, then with snow making and further natural snow we get a great season. So this is looking VERY good!

NIWA has a good animation of what is coming. 

But how good?

Well, we all know from experience that the weather in NZ doesn't always deliver what is promised, and that is certainly true in terms of snow. Some forecasters struggle in big events and often over-predict the snowfall amount. This is great for stoke levels, but less ideal when that “Japanese sized snow fall” doesn’t materialise.

Regardless, any snow is good snow, so let’s see what a couple of the leading providers are saying. We subscribe to OpenSnow, and it’s worthwhile as you get a 10 day view of the forecast.  And it’s pretty tasty! We’re also keen on the subscriber only 9 day forecast from Snow-forecast.com. Here’s what they both have to say. Crazy numbers? Yes!   

Area

OpenSnow.
1-5 Day

OpenSnow.
6-10 Day

OpenSnow.
10 day total

Snow Forecast.
9 day total

Whakapapa

46cm

157cm

203cm

71cm

Turoa

43cm

155cm

198cm

61cm

Mt Hutt

30cm

38cm

68cm

75cm

Treble Cone

51cm

64cm

115cm

234cm

Cardrona

33cm

38cm

71cm

104cm

Coronet Peak

33cm

51cm

84cm

118cm

The Remarkables

30cm

56cm

86cm

104cm

OpenSnow June 2022

So of the larger areas, Whakapapa or Treble Cone could be the standout winners.  But when you include the smaller areas also, and of course you should (!), Rainbow is sitting at up to 241cm, and Temple Basin at a mind bending 399cm!

Area

OpenSnow.
1-5 Day

OpenSnow.
6 -10 Day

OpenSnow.
10 day total

Snow Forecast.
9 day total

Rainbow

86cm

155cm

241cm

195cm

Temple Basin

193cm

206cm

399cm

344cm

Ohau

66cm

66cm

132cm

193cm

Really?

These are virtually unprecedented forecasts for ski areas in New Zealand. But will the forecast snow levels materialise?  Possibly not at some of the upper predictions, but they are both consistent enough to say there will be snow, and a lot of it, guaranteed!

In the meantime, keep an eye on the snow reports and see just how much does fall! Good news also for mobile users, we’re hoping to release a new version of the app with additional features, which we’re pretty sure you’ll love.

 

While Happy Valley at Whakapapa is now open, this snowfall should see a number of other areas able to get underway. Yesiree, the 2022 ski season for New Zealand is on!