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Heavy snow has been falling in Timaru for a number of hours and has now moved into Christchurch, surprising government forecaster MetService, but not TRN’s Weather Watch Centre.  Head weather analyst Philip Duncan says the centre called for snow in Timaru on Wednesday and isn’t surprised at all that snow is falling in other regions around Canterbury.  “We knew a few days ago that the weather would be cold enough to make snow to sea level across the South Island…our weather models provided by were bang on specifically mentioning Timaru in our snow forecast”.  

Tom McKenzie from the Radio Network in Timaru told Philip Duncan that snow started to fall late this morning.

Further north and Christchurch has had patchy rain with some sleet too but as predicted by Mr Duncan, snow has now started falling, according to our South Island weather analyst Richard Green.

And Green says last night was a record maker in the Garden City.  “Last night was the warmest overnight low on record in Christchurch.  It dropped to only 15.7 thanks to the nor’wester”. The average overnight low for Christchurch in June is 0.8 degrees says Green.

 (image by Tom McKenzie, TRN Timaru)

Winds over 150km/h battered Stewart Island and Castlepoint last night but have eased back a bit today.

Duncan is warning motorists across Southland, Otago and Canterbury to take extreme care with snow and hail about.  “We’re also warning motorists in the North Island to take extreme care tonight and tomorrow morning.  Snow is expected on the Rimutaka Ranges and possibly the Napier Taupo Highway.  Heavy snow is also likely on the Desert Road and there’s a good chance it may be need to be closed”.




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