Cold blast to move north
Tue, 11 Sep 2012 8:34a.m.
By 3 News online staff
Snow is has already fallen in the lower South Island today but more snow falls are expected later in the afternoon and evening.
Metservice says a southerly blast is bringing wintry conditions north across the South Island, with snow expected to reach the lower North Island later this evening.
Farmers down south have already spent the night trying to protect their stock from the chilly conditions.
In Wairarapa, parts of Wellington, Southland, Clutha and Dunedin gusts reached up to 120km/h.
Power lines came down in Southland and snow in Dunedin had made roads in the city and its surrounds hazardous.
At least one road was closed and some bus services, particularly to hillside suburbs, will be disrupted.
Despite the cold southerly, Canterbury is mostly dry today. However Banks Peninsula remains exposed to gales, showers and snow flurries.
WeatherWatch.co.nz head analyst Philip Duncan says the cold weather will be short-lived.
“While this is significantly cold it is not what we'd describe as 'a significant event' so yes, some snow around today, some hail and gales too - but in another 24 hours it will be a very different picture,” he says.
“A large high is coming in and those gusty winds will ease - then we have frosts which will then be a serious concern for growers.”
Snow is falling down to sea level in Fiordland, Southland and Otago. In these areas some 20-25cm is likely above 300 metres today.
A similar level of snow is possible above 800 metres across the Taihape Ranges, the Kaweka Range and northern Manawatu later this evening in the North Island.
Mr Duncan says the higher parts of Wellington and State Highway 2 in the Rimutaka Ranges could see a few snow flurries this evening.
He is also predicting snow for the Desert Road – possibly enough to close it.
Heavy showers and hail are expected for Taranaki, while Auckland’s seeing heavy showers and near gale westerlies.
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