No Antarctic blasts this winter
By Philip Duncan
5:30 AM Sunday Aug 29, 2010


It wasn't until May that the first snow fell across the South Island. Photo / Alan Gibson

As we come to the end of winter I'm astounded to write that we have not had one single national Antarctic blast this whole winter.

It wasn't until May that the first snow fell across the South Island ski slopes and some were late opening due to lack of the white stuff.

The lack of snow was due to the fact that New Zealand suffered through a dry summer and autumn with constant highs holding firm over the South Island - a pattern that has remained, to some degree, all year. The first snow in May was also created by the first large low of 2010, up until then rainfall figures were well down for most.

As winter kicked off in June colder weather moved in. We saw snow falling in isolated areas of the South Island and reports of snow on Banks Peninsula. Hail fell in Christchurch.

Snow closed a few South Island alpine passes and the Desert road was shut a few times briefly, but all and all this winter has been kind to most of us. Not all of us, but most.

More here.