Foggy start, snow showers for parts of South

Fog hung around parts of a chilly South this morning, disrupting flights at Dunedin Airport, and snow is forecast for the Lindis Pass and Crown Range Road from the afternoon.

A passenger told the ODT he began boarding an Air New Zealand flight to Christchurch, due to depart at 6.15am, but people were then asked to disembark and go back to the terminal due to fog and ice. The flight left later at 7.30am.

Another flight from Dunedin to Wellington was also delayed from taking off for about 45 minutes and left at 7.10am.

Flights to and from Auckland were also affected for a time. But by 11am, flights were back on schedule.

Dunedin could expect mostly fine weather today with a top of 11C and a low of 5C.

The New Zealand Transport Agency warned snow showers were likely on the Lindis Pass (State Highway 8) from late this afternoon and an already icy Crown Range Road, linking Queenstown and Wanaka, for about four hours from 5pm.

Fog was also present throughout Central Otago and Queenstown this morning, and road users were advised to take care.

It was another chilly start in Queenstown, with icy conditions in shady spots and steeper areas like Queenstown Hill and Fernhill.

"Patches of thick fog were hanging around, so get those lights on but keep them off the high beam setting," a Queenstown Lakes District Council spokesman said.

Grit had been applied, but there was now a build-up of loose grit some road surfaces and people should drive with care as it could also be slippery. A set of chains should be carried also.

In Central Otago, there was another hard frost on mostly dry roads. However, isolated areas of thick fog in some areas meant caution was advised. Temperatures ranged from -4degC to -7degC first thing.

There was ice on bridge decks and white frost patches on some shaded areas. These had been gritted and crews would continue to patrol until after daybreak, a spokesperson for the Central Otago District Council said.

Danseys Pass Road was open to all vehicles.

Black ice was affecting State Highway 94 (Te Anau to Milford Sound), however the Milford Road (SH 94) was open.

Meanwhile, Taumarunui was the country’s coldest town early this morning, with a low of -4.2C, MetService said.

Whangārei was the warmest with a low of 13.6C at 5.30am, while Kerikeri was the wettest having had 0.2mm of rain.

Auckland’s North Shore was one of the windiest spots with a 33km/h wind, MetService said.

Rain was tipped to settle in over large sweeps of the country tonight and continue through to the weekend.

- ODT Online and NZME

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