10am: *DESERT ROAD RE-OPENS
Thunderstorms, with hail and very strong winds rolled through Christchurch and Banks peninsula last evening and overnight.
A tree has blocked the road near Little River, after coming down in a big gust last night.
Christchurch airport recorded southwesterly gusts up to 80 kph but over the hilltops on the Port Hills, sou’westers blew in excess of 100kph.
Heavy showers with sleet and hail continued off and on throughout the night with some snow at higher levels. Temperatures remained around 4 degrees in Christchurch city but the hillside suburbs were closer to zero.
Winds are still strong this morning with a few squally showers still remaining, however winds are expected to slowly back off throughout the day, with showers gradually becoming few and far between.
Further south, Dunedinites also felt the wintry blast last night, with snow on some hill suburbs such as Brockville and Roslyn, and sleet and hail was reported throughout much of the city. Thunder also accompanied the icy blast but a gradual improvement is expected today.