Winter weather

Winter weather has arrived in the south of the South Island. It has been a very mild winter so far, with temperatures much warmer than usual for winter. However, the Met Office (Meterological – weather) warns that late winter is often much colder. New Zealand is an island country and our weather is affected by the oceans. By late winter, the oceans are much colder than earlier in the season.

Already snow has fallen in Southland, Otago and inland areas above 200m. More snow is expected tomorrow and this cold weather could continue for maybe a week. Canterbury and Nelson hills can also expect snow. In the North Island, the Desert Rd may close if there is too much snow. Skiers are happy as South Island mountains and Mt Ruapehu in the North Island now have plenty of snow.

Alexandra (north of Dunedin) could be the coldest town with temperatures dropping to -9 degrees Celsius at night and -2 during the day. (Alexandra is one of the hottest towns in summer.)

Meanwhile, it has been raining again in other parts of New Zealand. Our country is long – about 1,600 km if you draw a line between the far north and the far south (although if you drive, the distance is about 3,000km.) The weather in the far north is much warmer and wetter that in the far south. Also the range of mountains in the centre of both islands, along with the prevailing wind, means that the west of both islands is wetter than the east.

Note: the use of brackets to show something is interesting but not part of the main text.


• mild (adj) – not too hot, not too cold
• warn (v), warning (n) – tell someone to be careful
• affected by (v) – influenced by, caused by (Note: effect (n) – result)
• Celsius – measure of temperature where 0 degrees is freezing point and 100 degrees is boiling point
• range of mountains (n) – lower mountains or hills joining higher mountains
• prevailing (adj) wind – the usual wind

Note: spelling of comparatives and superlatives – double the single consonant after a single short vowel e.g. wet, wetter, wettest but smart, smarter

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