2 Sep 2018

Snow forecast will affect mountain passes in South Island

1:25 pm on 2 September 2018

It is the second day of Spring but the forecast suggests it is too early to put away the winter woolies.

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Photo: 123rf

MetService has issued a severe weather watch as a complex low and several fronts move onto the country later today and tomorrow, which are expected to bring snow, strong winds and heavy rain in many areas.

Snow is predicted for southern and eastern areas of the South Island, affecting many mountain passes.

Significant falls are expected in and eastern Fiordland, Southland, Otago, Canterbury and southern Marlborough this evening and overnight, above 600 metres, but possibly lowering to 400 metres.

In Canterbury, from the Waimakariri River north and in parts of Marlborough, it could fall as low as 200-300 metres early tomorrow morning.

The snow will affect most mountain roads in the South Island from tonight, including the Lewis Pass, Arthurs Pass, Porters Pass, Lindis Pass and Haast Pass.

Snow will fall on the Crown Range Road between Wanaka and Queenstown, along with the Milford Road.

Motorists heading north out of Dunedin are being told to expect sleet or snow on the Waitati Highway.

Snow showers are also expected on the Desert Road through the central North Island from tomorrow afternoon.

A heavy rain watch is in force for many parts of the North Island, including the eastern Bay of Plenty, Mount Taranaki and the Tararua Ranges.

Strong, possibly gale-force southerlies are expected from tomorrow in Canterbury, especially around Banks Peninsula, as well as eastern Marlborough, Wellington and Wairarapa.