23 Jun 2010

Queenstown snow eases - but icy night ahead

5:48 pm on 23 June 2010

The snowstorm that hit Queenstown and parts of Canterbury on Wednesday morning weakened as the day went on, though freezing temperatures were forecast for Wednesday night.

Heavy snow began falling in Queenstown at just after 7am, closing schools, disrupting air travel and causing several road accidents.

At one point the Lindis Pass was closed and higher streets around the Queenstown area were also impassable, as the area got its first first major snowfall this winter.

In Canterbury, State Highway 8 between Twizel and Fairlie was also closed for a while.

MetService said temperatures would plummet on Wednesday night, turning snow on the ground to ice.