Snow in Canterbury; gales for parts of South

Arthur's Pass was blanketed in snow on Tuesday morning. Photo: Waka Kotahi/NZ Transport Agency
Arthur's Pass was blanketed in snow on Tuesday morning. Photo: Waka Kotahi/NZ Transport Agency
Black ice could be a concern for motorists in Canterbury, with a frost expected overnight.

The warning comes after snow fell in the Canterbury High Country overnight on Monday and throughout today.

MetService has issued a heavy snow watch for the Canterbury High Country, south of Culverden, from 8pm today until 1pm tomorrow.

Temperatures were expected to plummet in the region tonight and tomorrow morning, with -1degC expected in Christchurch, -2degC in Mt Cook and -3degC in Twizel and Omarama.

Due to snow on State Highway 73 between Springfield and Arthur's Pass, chains were essential on the road until it was cleared late this morning. Castle Hill residents were cut off after the road closed overnight.

MetService predicted a period of snow down to 400m, with heavy falls above 500m.

Road snowfall warnings today for Arthur's Pass, Lewis Pass (SH7), Porters Pass (SH73) and Lindis Pass (SH8) have been lifted. 

The South Island received its first significant snowfall of the year earlier this month.

Rain, gales and snow later this week

MetService said a front preceded by strong or gale northwesterlies and followed by strong or gale southwesterlies would bring a burst of rain to much of the South Island on Thursday.

More snow was possible to 400 to 500 metres in parts of the south and east of the island late on Thursday and early on Friday, affecting higher roads and passes.

However, warning amounts of snow was not expected at this stage.

Meanwhile, severe northwest gales could affect parts of Southland, Otago and the Canterbury High Country on Thursday.

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday there was low confidence of severe west to southwest gales at times for southeastern parts of Southland, also Clutha and Dunedin.

- NZ Herald and ODT Online 

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