23 Sep 2010

More severe weather on the way

10:01 pm on 23 September 2010

MetService has issued a severe weather watch after another night of snow in the Southland region.

Another front is expected to bring further north-westerly gales and heavy rain as it crosses the South Island on Friday, and on to the lower North Island on Saturday morning.

The strongest winds are likely about inland Canterbury, Marlborough, Wellington, Wairarapa and Hawke's Bay, south of Napier, as well as about coastal Southland and South Otago.

MetService says there is a risk of the winds again reaching severe gale in exposed parts of these areas.

Many state highways are closed by snow in the South Island, including State Highway 94 from Te Anau to Milford.

Snow, ice and high winds on other roads in Otago and Southland has prompted the New Zealand Transport Agency to warn drivers to be cautious.

It says in the North Island, motorists should also be careful on State Highway 1, south of Taihape, where contractors are clearing slips caused by heavy rain.

South Island snow closures

State Highway 7 from Hanmer Turnoff - Springs Junction

State Highway 87 from Outram - Middlemarch

State Highway 93 from Clinton - Mataura and

State Highway 94 from Te Anau, at the Lower Hollyford turnoff, to Milford Sound.

There are vehicle restrictions on State Highway 7 from Reefton - Spring Junction, State Highway 73 from Arthurs Pass - Otira, and State Highway 94 from Te Anau -Lower Hollyford.

Chains are essential on these roads.

Drivers of campervans and high-sided vehicles are advised to be cautious of high winds on:

State Highway 6 from Hari Hari - Haast

State Highway 8 from Raes Junction - Milton

State Highway 1 from Waihola -Gore

State Highway 90 from Raes Junction to the State Highway 1 intersection.

North Island conditions

Motorists are urged to be cautious of slips on:

State Highway 43 from Stratford -Taumarunui

State Highway 3 at Ballance in the Manawatu Gorge

State Highway 4 from Wanganui - Raetihi

State Highway 3 at Ratana

State Highway 1 at Utiku just south of Taihape

State Highway 54 at Cheltenham Hunterville Road.