Snow can fall in most of the South Island, but it usually melts quickly. The largest areas of seasonal and permanent snows are in central areas of the South Island, concentrated around the Southern Alps. From 1987 to 2007, the volume of ice in the Southern Alps reduced by almost 11%. With global warming, the size of glaciers and areas of snowfall are likely to shrink further.
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Source: Ian Owens and Blair Fitzharris, 'Seasonal snow and water'. In Jon Harding and others, eds, Freshwaters of New Zealand, Wellington: New Zealand Hydrological Society and New Zealand Limnological Society, 2004, p. 5.1