Christchurch Snow – photos by Mark Thomas
The snowy conditions that have affected inland areas of the mainland and further west in recent days, have finally turned up on the eastern side overnight. The frigid air worked its way over Canterbury late yesterday and once nightfall arrived, the temperatures fell to near freezing and snow was falling throughout the night down to sea level and Christchurch for the fourth time this winter, saw the flakes begin to fall too.
Weather analyst Richard Green says,’It is now beginning to settle in some parts of the city this morning like Halswell and Shirley, but there is also sleet and rain in the mix in other areas too.Higher up on the Port Hills and Banks Peninsula , it has thickened and may continue off and on throughout the morning but an easing may take place perhaps later in the day’.
Motorists are advised to take care in the wintry conditions and Dyers Pass Road and other roads in the hill suburbs have either been closed or are marginal at best. Other areas of the plains saw the snow start to fall late yesterday north of the city, with Cust seeing the first flakes at around 4pm.
As the day wears on the snow level could rise a little but the cold air won’t be moving away anytime soon. This system has been the snowiest to cover the country this winter, with a few inland areas recording more than 1 metre of snow since it began last Thursday.
The very cold air remains over the South Island and heavy frosts are likely to follow this event.
The cold weather isn’t confined to the South Island either. Hail showers continue to pepper the North Island’s west coast with reports from Levin to Auckland this morning.
Hail bouncing on a trampoline! Taken in Levin late last night by local weather watcher Phill Smith.