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Freezing winds and snow arrive Sunday

Farmers at the bottom of the South Island, reeling from the effects of blizzard-like conditions which killed hundreds of thousands of lambs and ewes at the end of last month, have been warned another wintry blast is on its way.

A bitter cold front was expected to sweep across the country on Sunday, bringing biting south to southwest winds and snow down to low levels.

The coldest and harshest conditions were expected in the deep south and the MetService today issued a Severe Weather Watch for heavy snow in Fiordland, Southland, Clutha and Dunedin.

Southwest gales were also expected during Sunday in coastal areas, and especially about the coastal hills, including the Catlins.

The strong winds combined with snow were likely to produce blizzard conditions and possible drifts over hilly areas, putting extreme stress on vulnerable stock, such as newborn lambs.

Eastern parts of the South Island and southern and eastern parts of the North Island were also expected to see snow to unseasonably low levels.

Strong, cold south to southwest winds were forecast to spread north during Sunday afternoon and evening.

Only modest snowfall was expected in coastal areas but higher roads above 300m in Canterbury and eastern Marlborough and above 500m over central and southern parts of the North Island, could be affected.

This included the Rimutaka Hill road and many of the roads leading through the central plateau.

Winds should ease during Monday.

– NZPA, NZHERALD

Homepage image / File – Alison Metherell

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