27 Jun 2018

Wintry blast: Cars slip on icy roads as chill sets in

1:31 pm on 27 June 2018

New Zealanders woke to a frosty start this morning as temperatures in some areas dropped below zero after a chilly blast overnight.

Frosty morning in Taumarunui.

Frosty morning in Taumarunui. Photo: Supplied / Antonia Walker

Some regions in the North Island suffered a piercing chill this morning with Waiouru and Taumarunui being the coldest places in the North Island at -4.5C° and -3°C, respectively.

One Taumarunui resident even went out to capture the beginning of snowfall in the region yesterday, which was forecast to 700m in the central North Island.

Hamilton plummeted to -1.7°C overnight while Palmerston North plunged to -0.6°C.

Around Auckland temperatures dropped to between 2°C and 4°C, while Ardmore trickled down to -0.9°C.

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The cold blast was expected to continue through the final week of June with more showers forecast to hit in the afternoon.

However, for many in the North Island it was forecast to be a dry day with some showers on the western parts and east coast.

MetService forecast it to be a mostly dry day for the South Island too, with some showers on the Banks Peninsula.

RNZ reporter Carol Stiles sent in a picture of cows having a chilly start to the day in Taumarunui on 27 June, 2018.

Photo: RNZ/ Carol Stiles

Tonight's overnight temperatures were expected to stay frosty with 3-4°C forecast for Northland and Auckland, MetService said.

Meanwhile, police have warned motorists to be extra cautious after ice on the roads caused four car crashes since 5am in Taranaki.

Just after 5am a car rolled on Mawhitiwhiti Road in Okaiawa, the driver was taken to hospital to be examined.

At 6.30am another vehicle crashed into a fence and rolled onto its side at Broadway in Stratford.

Police also received a report that two cars had crashed off South Road, at Tokaora, after hitting ice. One ended up in a ditch, the other in a paddock.

Ice and snow had shut Desert Road earlier on 27 June.

Photo: Supplied/NZTA

Desert Road was now open after it shut earlier due to snow and ice on the state highway.

Police warned drivers to check that their vehicles and tyres were roadworthy and ensure all windows were clear of ice before getting behind the wheel.

Motorists advised of conditions on highways:

  • SH 7 Hanmer Springs turnoff to Springs Junction (Lewis Pass) - Snow and ice
  • SH 8 Burkes Pass to Twizel - Snow and ice
  • SH 80 Aoraki Mt Cook Highway - Snow and ice
  • SH 73 Arthurs Pass village to Otira - Ice
  • SH 83 Kurow to Omarama - Black ice
  • SH 8 Twizel to Omarama - Black ice
  • State Highway 3 Urenui to Uruti - Black ice