Heavy snow watch extended to Dunedin

A heavy snow watch has been extended to Dunedin tonight as much of the South prepares for a rough couple of days of weather. 

MetService is forecasting snow down to 200m in Dunedin, Clutha and Central Otago south of Alexandra Monday morning, then to near sea level by Monday afternoon. 

Southland is expected to bear the brunt of the system Monday, where a heavy snow warning has been issued. 

As much as 10cm could fall over a 6 hour period above 300m and 15 to 25cm over the next 24 hours. 

Widespread storms experienced by much of the country through the weekend "continue to be a significant weather event", and are expected to be chased by a series of cold fronts travelling up the country over the next two days, MetService says.

The forecasters have issued a series of heavy snow watches and road snowfall warnings.

MetService meteorologist Mmathatelo Makgabutlane said earlier the cold conditions will impact farmers.

"We are expecting snow to reach down to at least about 300 metres overnight, and then possibly reaching sea level tomorrow morning."

The snow coupled with strong cold southwest winds will make conditions particularly harsh, forecasters say.

Many high roads and passes across the South Island could receive heavy snow, disrupting traffic. In particular snow is expected at the Crown Range road, the Lindis, Lewis, Haast and Arthur's passes, and the Dunedin to Waitati highway for Sunday evening and Monday.

About 50 centimetres of snow is expected on the Milford Road through Sunday and Monday, possibly to sea level.

Those travelling should stay up to date with forecasts and warnings for the areas they are travelling in, as the storm unfolds, MetService says.

 - Additional reporting RNZ




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