From this,to this. Clouds quickly move into the Capital this afternoon. Photos by local Weather Watch reporter Lee Densem.
The big winter storm is working well in to the night tonight as Wellington becomes the latest city to feel the brunt of Winter. A strong southerly has moved in bringing winds of up to 130km/h on the hill tops and over 100km/h in the Capital itself. Snow is expected to lower overnight to 300 metres on surrounding ranges, including State Highway 2 over the Rimutaka Ranges.
Elsewhere hail storms continued to pelt the North Island’s west coast, where about 4000 lightning strikes have been recorded by the Weather Watch Centre’s lightning radar. Big hail storms have been blasting the west coast all day with Auckland receiving a number of hail storms lasting up to 30 minutes. Gales in a thunderstorm around 10pm saw gusts of 144km/h in some exposed regions around the city.
Hail storms have blanketed some regions today, including Palmerston North and New Plymouth, where the ground went white, imitating snow fall.
Palmerston North family enjoying the heavy hail storm today. Photo by Lisa Lightband.
Conditions have started to ease along the nation’s northern and western coastlines with most heavy showers now moving out to sea. A few squalls will remain over Auckland and Waikato overnight with the risk of a few more hail showers and lightning flashes. (hail on the deck, photo by Denis Wadsworth, New Plymouth).
And these incredible photos show snow on the hills at the Tararua Wind Farm near Palmerston North.
The photo was taken by Weather Watch reader Kyla Leary.
“The snow depth ranged from 2 to 4 inches [5-10cms] and the cool temperatures meant the snow was nice and dry” says Kyla.
The Radio Network’s Weather Watch Centre is advising the public to keep off roads in the South Island and lower, central and eastern North Island tonight. Snow is expected to continue to fall on the Port Hills in Christchurch, inland Canterbury, all Alpine passes, Otago and Southland.