Wintry Blast Heading North

Publish Date
Saturday, 8 August 2015, 5:16PM
Lake Ohau and the Mackenzie Basin is blanketed with snow this morning. Photo- Sarah Ivey, NZ Herald

Lake Ohau and the Mackenzie Basin is blanketed with snow this morning. Photo- Sarah Ivey, NZ Herald

A wintry blast which battered the South Island over night is now making its way north, with several weather watches and warnings in place.

MetService meteorologist Rob Kerr said conditions across the South Island had eased.

"However, places like Southland and south of the Canterbury Plains will all still experience some snow showers throughout the course of the weekend, more persistently around Southland, Clutha and Dunedin areas.

"But things are going to be easing for those guys over the next day or so."

Snowfall caused road closures in many parts of the South Islands, and police had urged motorists to take extra care.

In Canterbury and Southland snow fell as low as 100 metres above sea level in some areas overnight.

All three passes into the West Coast - Arthur's, Lewis and Haast - were closed overnight due to snow.

As of this afternoon, SH94 between Te Anau and Milford Sound remained closed.

The North Island was now catching the brunt of the bad weather, Mr Kerr said.

"Those features that were giving the South Island some grief last night and this morning are moving north across the central North Island.

"We might see some snow down to about 400 metres in places, particularly around central North Islands areas."We have watches in place across all the central North Island High Country and places like the Hawkes Bay ranges... and the Gisborne ranges as well."

There was also the possibility of some snow showers affecting the ranges between Taupo and Rotorua, and even the eastern Bay of Plenty.

Source- NZ Herald