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Heavy snow is spreading across the South Island tonight with reports of road closures in central regions.  Snow flurries are expected to sea level over the next 24 hours and the Weather Watch Centre is advising motorists to take extreme care.

Head weather analyst Philip Duncan says the snow is going to get heavier tonight.  “The coldest air is still to come so we can expect to see some heavy snow falls tonight and through the weekend.  This may well be the heaviest snow fall so far this year”.

Duncan says the first front moved through Auckland bringing gales and very heavy showers around 7pm.  He says lumpy showers are now spreading up the west coast while rain is moving up the east coast.

Snow is expected tonight across the Central Plateau.  “Motorists driving through Central Plateau tonight should be prepared for delays or road closures”.  He says the South Island will have similar problems.

South Island weather analyst Richard Green reported snow falling in Gore, Wanaka and Tekapo as early as this morning.   “Computer models have been consistent with this storm all week and have intensified a little today”

Very strong and wintry southerly winds are expected to contain severe gusts over the next 24 to 36 hours in exposed eastern areas of the South Island making conditions miserable Green says.  Severe gales are also forecast to blast the Capital later on Saturday.  Wind gusts have already been reported at over 100km/h this evening in Wellington and Auckland.

Green says ‘Blizzard like conditions are possible in the far south as the southerly amps up along southern and eastern areas’.

And Duncan says the weather for the All Blacks game in Wellington tomorrow night looks atrocious.  He predicts gale force southerlies, driving rain and a bitterly cold wind chill of around 3 or 4 degrees at kick off.


Peter Bristow on 4/07/2008 9:18pm

Last night our youth worker, at a National Youth Conference, texted from the hills above Lyttleton very excited that snow had arrived. That was at about 22:10…then she later texted to say that it had started to sleet, so it was no fun to be out in.
I guess their all in for an unaccustomed freeze.
Pete Bristow

Leigh on 4/07/2008 8:43am

And weather for the All Blacks game in Wellington looks extreme tomorrow night. Duncan predicts gale force southerlies, driving rain and a bitterly cold wind chill of around 3 or 4 degrees.



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