A cold blast has hit the South this morning, bringing snow to
many areas and creating problems for motorists
Traffic was slowed for a while after an accident - thought to
be a nose-to-tail crash - in the northbound section of the
southern motorway at Green Island.
The bitter cold forced visiting football team Sydney FC to
cancel this morning's open training at the Caledonian Ground.
Cautions are in place for many roads, and the New Zealand
Transport Agency is urging care on the Northern Motorway
owing to ice on the road.
Inland, police are instructing motorists to fit snow chains
to cross the Crown Range after a series of crashes this
Officers were called to the mountain road between Queenstown
and Wanaka after several drivers spun in difficult
The road is now clear but patrol cars are stationed at the
top of the zig-zags, and officers are ensuring motorists stop
and fit chains.
Queenstown Lakes District Council advises that black ice is
widespread across the Wakatipu from Glenorchy to Gibbston.
Other affected roads in the South include: SH87 Kyeburn to
Mosgiel; SH6 Kingston to Lumsden; and SH94 Mossburn to Te
ODT readers are reporting light falls all around the region,
including in Alexandra and Milton, and in many of Dunedin's
The miserable weather prompted A-league football side Sydney
FC to cancel a planned practice at Forrester Park, north of
Sydney are due to take on Newcastle United in a pre-season
friendly at Dunedin's Forsyth Barr stadium tomorrow evening.
The Premier League side had a training session at the stadium
It was earlier reported that a ''significant'' cold blast was
expected to hit Otago today, bringing snow showers to much of
the region and sub-zero wind-chill conditions to the east
MetService issued a special weather advisory yesterday
warning of snow showers to 200m to 300m from last night to
''A very cold, showery southerly flow is expected to spread
over the country,'' it said.
''This cold outbreak will also be accompanied by strong south
to southwest winds, especially about eastern coasts, where
sub-zero wind-chill can be expected.''
Dunedin was expected to receive snow on the hills today and
snow and sleet tomorrow, with a temperature high of up to
Inland Queenstown and Wanaka were predicted to get occasional
snow showers with highs of 7degC and 4degC respectively,
while Alexandra was only to get occasional sleety showers.
The snow was not expected to reach Oamaru until tomorrow,
with snow and sleet and a high of 10degC.
Road snowfall warnings have also been issued for the Lewis
Pass and Milford Rd.
Rain at the weekend caused minor flooding in the Waiareka and
Coastal North Otago received 40mm-50mm of rain from Friday
night until early yesterday, leading to surface flooding in
Oamaru and on some inland roads.
Waitaki emergency services manager Chris Raine said Civil
Defence teams were out on Saturday, particularly in the
Waiareka and Kakanui Valleys, where about 40mm of rain fell
in 24 hours.
The rain caused the Kakanui River and other streams to rise,
but not to warning levels, and they were receding yesterday.