Snow to ski but roading compromise

A wintry blast across Otago and Southland yesterday has "exceeded expectation", a skifield operator says.

Coronet Peak ski area manager Nigel Kerr said the strong southwesterlies were boosting snow on the mountain.

"The indications are that we have underestimated the storm. We had another 5-10cm [of snow] while operating today.

"We know it may cause havoc on the roads but we are delighted with it here on the mountain.

"Today we had the best day of the season and we have already had some really good ones with snow cover."

And while wind affected chairlifts for a short time yesterday, he had no concerns about visibility or cloud cover.

Hugo Huntington from the lifts crew at Coronet Peak removes snow at the ski resort yesterday....
Hugo Huntington from the lifts crew at Coronet Peak removes snow at the ski resort yesterday. Inset: Gorge Hill on State Highway 94 was white with snow at 8.30am yesterday. PHOTOS: NZSKI & STEPHEN MILNE/SOUTH ROADS
The additional powder would bolster an already "strong start" to the season.

The NZSki-operated field was also increasing staff numbers to meet demand.

The MetService issued a snow warning and snow reports across the district yesterday.

Queenstown’s Shotover Country’s residents were treated to winter flurries throughout they day, as were Arthurs Point, Frankton, Kingston and the Crown Range.

Ranfurly also got a dusting and snow fell on parts of State Highway 94 and Dunedin's Northern Motorway.

The NZ Transport Agency encouraged motorists to keep a close eye on weather conditions and road updates before venturing out overnight. that followed a number of road closures in Southland yesterday morning after overnight snow.

louise.scott@odt.co.nz

 

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