New Zealand’s record warm weather in May has seen at least one skifield delay its opening.
Temperatures in May averaged 13.1C, well above the previous record of 12.4C in 2007 and 2.3C higher than the overall average.
The impact has been felt at the popular Coronet Peak skifield near Queenstown, which has had to abandon its planned opening on Saturday.
Coronet Peak sales and marketing general manager Craig Douglas said the temperatures had been too warm to make artificial snow.
“Anecdotally the locals say it’s been very warm for May, and we are just not getting cold enough temperatures to make enough snow,” he told NZPA.
“We’ve invested millions of dollars in snowmaking equipment, but if we can get 72 hours of minus 2 degrees up on the mountain, which is not unheard of this time of the year, then we can be operational.”
Coronet Peak’s owners NZ Ski also owns Mt Hutt, which is due to open on June 11, and The Remarkables, due to open June 18.
“If mother nature is with us we can still meet those dates,” Mr Douglas said.
– Image / A different story to two years when heavy snow blanketed the road up to Coronet Peak / Simon Williams, WeatherWatch.co.nz