20 Jan 2017

Summer snow tops Mt Taranaki

3:39 pm on 20 January 2017

If you thought it was cold overnight, you'd be right.

Snow on Mt Taranaki - 20 January 2017

A dusting of summer snow can be seen on Mt Taranaki following the "bomb low" that swept the country this week. Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

MetService communications meteorologist Lisa Murray said the low passing over the country had dragged up a mass of cold air that led to temperatures dropping to single digits.

The freezing level dropped to 1500-1600m in the North Island and there was snowfall recorded at Whakapapa, the Tararua Ranges and on Mt Taranaki.

"The reason for the snow is we have this really cold air and you had a bit of a rainfall so obviously in those higher regions all the peaks around the country had a dusting of snow overnight."

Ms Murray said while snow in the North Island was unusual at this time of the year it was not unheard of.

The co-owner of Top Guides in New Plymouth, Rob Needs, said there was snow on the lower levels of the summit track this morning and several climbers abandoned plans to climb the mountain because of the wintery conditions.

"Mt Taranaki can do anything at anytime and we've just had that absolutely confirmed in the last 24 hours."

Mr Needs said the snow would not stick around and there was heavy rain forecast for the weekend.

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