Finally some snow on the mountains but dry June forecast
Queenstown awoke to snow on the mountains last week, with the ski season now three weeks away.
Both Coronet Peak and The Remarkables had a decent dusting of the white stuff as a weather front moved through.
Coronet, which had between 10 to 20cm, will open Friday, June 26 - about two weeks later than a regular season.
The Remarkables will open for the school holidays from Saturday, July 4 to 19, then on weekends until September 27, with potential for extra days to be added during the season.
But the long-term forecast for June, always something of a guesstimate, indicates skiers and snowboarders might not be missing powder days due to the season’s late start.
MetService meteorologist Mmathapelo Makgabutlane says “Next week is also fairly dry, however we do expect northwesterly winds to start coming through for the South Island, so the western side of the Southern Alps, they could see a little bit of moisture coming through, the eastern side, probably not too much.
“And it’s a very similar story for the last week of June as well.”
NZSki’s Coronet boss Nigel Kerr says the ski field is designed to “skip past that small problem, that minor irritation”.
It has 211 fixed snow guns, and 7 portable for extensive coverage top to bottom across the ski field’s 280 hectares. The guns need cold temperatures to fire, though.
“Dry isn’t really our issue,” Kerr says. “The forecast is that June and July are going to be a little bit colder than normal, which is music to my ears.
“It’s looking really good up there now. We got 10 to 20cm overnight so the snow guns are firing, you can probably see that from town. It’ll warm up overnight and then we’ll be back into it with more snow on the ground from about 6am tomorrow morning.
“So it’s looking awesome. We’ll just build up the snow, build it up over the month, so it’s great to have a base down. Then we get the staff up for training, looking good.”