Just last week, New Zealand was suffering all-time record May COLD — and now, the island is battling record-challenging volumes of early-season SNOW.
June may mark the start of meteorological winter in New Zealand, but the snow received by the higher elevations of the South Island have been something else, described by locals as “phenomenal” and “epic.”
Mount Hutt rises to the west of the Canterbury Plains in the South Island of New Zealand, above the braided upper reaches of the Rakaia River, and 80 kilometres west of Christchurch.
Its summit rises to 7185 feet (2190 metres) above sea level.
As reported by odt.co.nz, the mountain is receiving one-heck of a dumping of fresh, early-season snow and ice this week “as severe weather sweeps across the South Island.”
According to Mt Hutt Ski Area manager James McKenzie, as much as 16.4 feet (5 metres) of global warming goodness fell at the summit over a 24 hour period, between Monday and Tuesday.
An impressive 20 inches (50cm) even accumulated at the base.
McKenzie said they were having trouble getting to the top of the mountain, and had to take a a helicopter up.
“It was pretty impressive, right up to the top of our big wind fence up there.
“The Hutt is pretty much buried in snow at the summit.”
During the helicopter flight, McKenzie found the snow at the summit to be crusted with ice.
It’s a pretty phenomenal sight at the top of the mountain, he said: “There’s a huge amount of ice growing out from any metal structure, the lift is caked with ice.”
“That ice is up to half a metre thick, may be more, in some places.”
“It’s an amazing scene,” continued McKenzie.
“Huge mounds of snow everywhere. It’s a really strange thing just seeing everything swallowed up by the snow.
“That ice layer needs to be broken up with groomers and we’ll be mobilizing our team pretty shortly to get out there and start preparing trails.”
Richie Owen, Mt Hutt’s sales and marketing coordinator, told 1 NEWS that Mt Hutt can be susceptible to large ice build ups, as it’s so close to the ocean.
“When we expect [an] event like this we have a storm trooper crew that monitor and remain on the mountain,” explained Owen.
“This would include at first light climbing each lift tower with a Yetti stick and bashing the ice off.
“We cannot move the lift until most of the ice is cleared from the towers and pully sheaths.”
Owen says the 16+ feet of pow pow is a great omen for the season ahead.
“This has set us up for an epic start to the season. We anticipate starting the season with all lifts and terrain park offering.”
Mt Hutt’s ski-season is due to begin next week on Friday, June 11.
“We’re still tracking towards that,” said McKenzie.
“It’s an exceptional snow base for us to start off with so we are very happy.”
Of course, the record-challenging accumulations weren’t just confined to Mt Hutt.
A large snow dump actually allowed the Hanmer Springs Ski Area to open its doors to the public.
Hanmer Springs, located on Mount Saint Patrick and which has been run by volunteers from the Amuri Ski Club since 1957, received about 20 inches (50cm) between Sunday and Thursday.
Club president Sarah Sleight said because of the early snowfall and the ideal conditions the club was able to welcome snow enthusiasts back to the mountain on Thursday, June 3.
Conditions couldn’t be better for the opening, said Sleight.
Looking ahead, further intermittent bouts of anomalous cold are forecast for New Zealand into the weekend.
While that powerful Antarctic blast headed for Australia (see below) remains on course to engulf the continent by June 9:
The COLD TIMES are returning, the mid-latitudes are REFREEZING, in line with the great conjunction, historically low solar activity, cloud-nucleating Cosmic Rays, and a meridional jet stream flow (among other forcings).
Both NOAA and NASA appear to agree, if you read between the lines, with NOAA saying we’re entering a ‘full-blown’ Grand Solar Minimum in the late-2020s, and NASA seeing this upcoming solar cycle (25) as “the weakest of the past 200 years”, with the agency correlating previous solar shutdowns to prolonged periods of global cooling here.
Furthermore, we can’t ignore the slew of new scientific papers stating the immense impact The Beaufort Gyre could have on the Gulf Stream, and therefore the climate overall.
Prepare accordingly— learn the facts, relocate if need be, and grow your own.
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Grand Solar Minimum + Pole Shift