27 Jun 2018

Cold weather power surge 'enough to power 450 Eden Parks'

8:38 pm on 27 June 2018

Aucklanders cranking up their electric blankets and heaters to stay warm in near freezing temperatures last night churned through near-record amounts of power.

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Photo: 123rf

A polar blast which brought snow to parts of the South Island yesterday moved north last night, plunging the city into colder temperatures than Queenstown.

The temperature plummeted to -0.9°C in Auckland suburb Ardmore, while cloud-covered Queenstown Airport was much balmier at -0.3°.

Energy company Vector spokesman Andre Botha said there was a huge surge in energy usage about 6pm yesterday, the network's second highest ever at 1833 megawatts.

"It's roughly enough to power 450 Eden Parks all at once," he said.

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

It wasn't just Auckland that froze, though. The temperature dipped to -2° in Hamilton, and 0° in parts of Bay of Plenty.

In Taumaranui, where it was -3.4°, Suzanne Mickelson said it froze the water in her outside taps.

She said it wasn't the coldest she'd experienced.

"When there's ice in the toilet, you break the ice when you go to the toilet."

Metservice meteorologist Angus Hine said last night's temperatures were cold compared to the past few winters, but were far from record-breaking.

He said there would be some reprieve from the chill tonight - but not for long.

"We are expecting a few showers and associated cloud to roll through in the early hours of the morning, which will just stop that very final bit of cooling.

He said Thursday and Friday nights were likely to be particularly cold.