29 May 2018

The big chill: Coldest night in South Island

10:27 am on 29 May 2018

New Zealanders should brace for more icy temperatures tonight as the South Island shivers from the coldest night of the year so far.

Frost covers Winton region as temperatures drop.

Frost covers Winton region as temperatures drop. Photo: RNZ/Tim Brown

Wednesday morning was forecasted to be colder than today in the upper North Island and in the upper South Island, according to WeatherWatch.

According to Niwa, Ranfurly and Middlemarch regions in Central Otago tied for New Zealand's coldest temp of 2018 (-6C), which was the coldest temperature since September 2017 for the country as a whole.

With a temperature of 0.8C in Whangarei this morning, it was the third coldest May temperature on record. This was the coldest May morning since 1976 or in 42 years.

Motorists were advised to drive with extra care at SH94 in Te Anau to Milford Sound where there was an area warning in place due to ice.

WeatherWatch said it was looking to be sunny for many regions today, however, the inner South Island could expect heavy frosts.

The country has been gripped with freezing temperatures during the weekend, and on Monday morning Manapouri took the crown for the coldest spot with temperatures dropping to -2.5C.