11 May 2024

Cold snap continues with freezing start to day for some

12:06 pm on 11 May 2024
A frosty fencepost in rural Canterbury.

A frosty fence post in rural Canterbury on Friday. Photo: RNZ / Jean Edwards

It has been another freezing start to the morning for some parts of the country with temperatures dropping as low as -6 degrees Celsius.

MetService says a high pressure system is moving into New Zealand from the southwest, bringing with it frosty temperatures.

Mt Hutt saw a low of -6C, while Mt Cook and Central Otago dropped to -4C.

In the North Island Taupō was -2C.

Meanwhile, Transpower says it's taking action to prevent power cuts as an unusually strong solar storm affects the planet this weekend.

The solar flares from the geomagnetic storm could potentially disrupt power and satellites.

The national grid operator has issued a grid emergency notice and is removing some transmission lines from service across the South Island as a precaution.

But it said power supplies won't be affected.

Transpower said events at this level are rare, with only three happening in this solar cycle since December 2019.

Cold weather to continue

MetService says colder temperatures are expected to persist for the next few days, before warming slightly early next week.

The cold snap has been in place for a few days with Christchurch registering -6C on Friday and Mosgiel at -5.3C on Thursday.

The national grid operator Transpower asked households and businesses to conserve electricity on Friday morning due to the cold snap, coupled with several power plants undergoing maintenance.

There were fears that Transpower would have to work with lines companies to control the load and even switch off supply, but that did not eventuate.

Tonight is also forecast to drop back below freezing in central areas, MetService meteorologist John Law said.

"More cloud in towards Whanganui down towards Manawatū and Wellington and I think as we head through the morning, that should start to break up and clear away."

It will turn into a fine clear night but a pretty cool one as we head into Sunday morning, he said.

On Sunday the North Island will reach highs of 15C in Auckland, with Tauranga looking like the spot to be with plenty of sunshine reaching 16C.

The South Island is looking fine and dry through the daytime on Sunday but there is more cloud for the southern parts of Otago and an odd shower for Southland and Fiordland Coast, Law said.

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