Snow flurries in Alexandra

It remains bitterly cold across the South this afternoon and has started snowing in Alexandra.

It began snowing in Alexandra's town centre from about 12.15pm.

Those snow showers, although short lived so far, have been thick at times, almost obscuring the Alexandra hillside clock.

By 12.40pm the sun was, once again, shining but the temperature was just 3.3deC, which the MetService said would feel more like -1degC.

Alexandra is expected to reach a high of 8C.

By 10.30am some snow had settled on the tops of hills around a bitterly cold Dunedin and the MetService was still predicting snow to 200m and a had a warning in place for the Northern Motorway (SH1).

Meanwhile, there have been snow flurries in central Queenstown, but it was yet to settle.

A ewe and two lambs keep their backs to driving snow by Malaghans Rd, near Coronet Peak, this afternoon. Photo: Guy Williams
A ewe and two lambs keep their backs to driving snow by Malaghans Rd, near Coronet Peak, this afternoon. Photo: Guy Williams

The Wakatipu basin continues to experience four seasons in one day, with snow flurries and showers interspersed with brief patches of sunshine.
A stiff southerly breeze is keeping temperatures low, with a high of six degrees Celsius at 2pm.

There have also been flurries in Roxburgh.

Niwa reported that snow levels had been dropping across Central Otago this morning.

Southern trampers and hunters are being asked to rethink any planned trips over the weekend because of avalanche risks.

MetService meteorologist Brian Mercer said a front was expected to arrive on the Southland coastline about 1am today, bringing heavy showers and snow down to 200m as it moved up the South Island.

"Because they're showers, they're not going to be absolutely everywhere.

"Most people will see snow around the hills ... The colder stuff will be during the morning and early afternoon, and then it will ease in the late afternoon, into the evening."

He said driving conditions about the region - particularly around the hill suburbs of Dunedin - could be slippery and cause disruptions.

Mr Mercer said snow showers were expected to affect the Northern Motorway between Dunedin and Waitati from 6am to 6pm today, and up to 2cm might accumulate near the summit.

Up to 2cm of snow was also expected to accumulate on the Lindis Pass (State Highway8) from 4am to midnight today, and on the Crown Range Road from 1am to 6pm.

Snow showers were also expected to affect the Milford Rd between 3am and 9am today, and up to 2cm was expected to accumulate above about 400m.

Mr Mercer said tomorrow would start off dry, but more showers were forecast for the afternoon, which could bring snow down to 600m.

"During Sunday, the weather will improve and it should be quite a nice day."

In Fiordland on Wednesday, more than 140cm of snow fell above 1300m, and there was a fear that could prompt dangerous avalanches.

New Zealand Avalanche Advisory head forecaster Jamie Robertson said the danger was not over even as the weather improved.

"The warmer conditions and the wind-loaded slopes mean that in the days after the storm larger `loose-wet' avalanches that can run to the valley floor are quite possible."

In Te Anau, rain turned to snow about 11.30am yesterday, and "several centimetres" settled in the township. Snow also fell in Mossburn and Garston.

MetService forecast more snow tomorrow to as low as 200m for parts of Southland, including Fiordland, but it was predicted to ease in the evening.

 - Staff reporters

Add a Comment