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NZ Motorists: Snow is coming to both North & South Island highways

Updated Highway forecasts — We’ve been waiting a long time, but finally heavy snow is in the forecast for both islands. Motorists in the South Island, well used to snow and ice, may have over one or two weeks of winter driving conditions through alpine areas in particular.  Southland and Otago are also quite exposed to subzero temperatures and heavy snow, maybe even to sea level.

In the North Island snow is forecast for Waiouru day after day after day for the first time this year – meaning the Desert Road (which is even higher) may be closed due to snow and ice.

Snow may also fall on the other side of Mt Ruapehu, around National Park – which is an alternative route if State Highway One the Desert Road is closed.  National Park has snow in the forecast for a week, off and on.  

Snow is also expected on the Napier/Taupo highway on Friday or the weekend.

In the South Island snow will be falling in the usual places – but also lower down across Canterbury for a time and possibly at sea level in Otago and Southland.

We cannot forecast road closures – it’s down to Mother Nature and authorities basically, but certainly both snow and ice could be heavy enough to close roads or affect motorists across both South and North Island highways over the coming 10 days.

Wind chills will also be extreme, down to -10 to -15 across exposed parts of Southland and Otago and even below -20 in exposed alpine areas. Once the winds die out towards the weekend, overnight lows may create black ice – so please drive with extreme care over the next week or two as winter driving conditions set in across many regions, for some it may even be for the first time this year.

– Image / Windchill map for the coldest parts of Saturday shows the ‘feels like’ temperature could be down to -15 in some exposed areas and even below -20 in the exposed alpine areas / Wundermap, US Data.



Guest on 2/08/2016 11:08am

the last 7times you have said snow for southland we have had none a small hail last time so i guess this will be the 8th no snow last year iether or the year before i live in invercargill were the weather is taken from the airport in town when it says 16deg on tv3 tv1 it says 10 deg so if the tv 3 weather says 10 its usaly 15


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