The forecast polar blast whipped through Tawa today, bringing snow showers, hail and a dusting of white to the western hills between Tawa and Porirua.
Sunday 31st May 2009
Tawa residents felt the effects of chilly conditions that accompanied strong southerlies today, livened by brief periods of blue skies and sunny spells.
Temperatures have been low all day, generally hovering around 5 to 6 degrees, dropping from a high of 7.2 ºC at 5:40 a.m. and plunging to a daytime low of 3.5 ºC at 2:24 this afternoon. Only 8 mm of rain was recorded, but the snow showers and bursts of hail provided a novel experience for locals.
The strong southerlies brought a record low windchill for the year of 0.8 ºC at 2:17 p.m., close to the Tawa Weather station’s all-time low of -1.1 ºC recorded on the 24th of April 2005.
Throughout most of the afternoon, showers of hail alternated with brief sunny spells, the hail at 1:30 p.m. being nearly pea-sized. As the afternoon progressed, the hail remained on the ground for longer periods before melting, and the snow showers between 2 and 3 p.m. left a dusting of white near the tops of the hills between Tawa and Porirua, with a light coating remaining on the southern face near the top of Colonial Knob (468 metres above sea level) until it was obscured by dusk.
A poster on the New Zealand Weather Forum reported snow showers on the road at Pauatahanui Inlet this morning, and residents of Mana and Paremata also reported sleet and snow showers, but it did not linger, the hail did, however. Mana Weather recorded its daytime low of 2.4 ºC at 4:40 p.m.
[sources: NZ Weather Forum, Tawa weather station and Mana weather station, telephone reports from local residents. ]