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Motorists are being warned to take care on southern roads as a wintry blast moves over the country.
The NZ Transport Agency advised this evening that State Highway 87 was closed between Sutton and Outram.
The closure comes as the MetService is predicting frequent showers, with thunder and hail, and snow to low levels in parts of the South tonight.
The NZTA urged motorists to take extra care and drive to the conditions over the next two days.
People should allow more time and slow down, watch following distances and be prepared for unexpected hazards, NZTA Journey Manager Lee Wright said.
“Wet, slippery roads can be unforgiving of even the smallest mistakes. It only takes a split second to lose control, the results of which can be disastrous.
“Most important though is to plan your journey and know before you go. Check the weather forecast, check road conditions. Weather conditions can change very quickly.”
Strong cross winds accompanying the front forced a flight to Dunedin to be turned back to Christchurch about 3pm, Dunedin Airport marketing and communications manager Megan Crawford said.
Dunedin to Waitati
On State Highway 1, Dunedin to Waitati, light snow showers are expected about the summit from late this afternoon to early Saturday morning, the MetService says.
South Island passes
Light snow showers are expected later today on other passes in the South Island. Drivers need to be prepared for this weather.
The MetService is reporting a period of snow is likely today on Milford Road (SH 94), until this evening with 7-12 cm accumulating on the road above 600 metres. The snow level on the Milford Road is expected to lower to 200 metres this evening.