Winter winds to ease by tonight

The cold southwest blast which brought snow and sleet showers to most of Otago will ease today to make way for a frosty but clear weekend, MetService says.

Gale-force winds were felt around most of the region yesterday, with Swampy Summit, on the outskirts of Dunedin, and Nugget Point, in South Otago, experiencing mean wind speeds of 74kmh and 100kmh respectively.

Dunedin airport also experienced gale-force winds for most of the day, with gusts of 74kmh, but it did not affect flights. In North Otago, Oamaru experienced gusts of 81kmh.

Along with the winds came sleet and snow showers for Dunedin and there were reports of snow settling in St Bathans and Naseby.

MetService meteorologist Liz Walsh said while snow to 600m was predicted last night, the southwesterly wind was expected to gradually clear in Otago during the day.

In Dunedin, there would be showers most of the day, clearing at night, while Central Otago would experience the odd shower.

''A high pressure system is sitting off to the west and is slowly coming in and pushing the southwest out ... moving in clear skies and frost.''


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