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Thread: Winter has arrived!

  1. #1
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    Default Winter has arrived!

    Snow blocks roads in North and South Islands
    Updated 11:22AM Wednesday May 20, 2009


    The Desert Road (pictured) was temporarily closed due to snow earlier today, while some Otago roads remain off-limits to motorists. File photo / Sarah Ivey

    Winter weather blocked roads in the North and South Islands today.

    In the North Island, heavy snow caused police to close the Desert Road this morning, but it was reopened at 9.30am.

    In the South Island, Dunedin police were kept busy by snow, rain and hail in and around the city.

    Police said driving conditions in the city's hill suburbs were treacherous and urged motorists not to use the routes unless absolutey necessary.

    Three Mile Hill Rd has been closed indefinitely, while the Northern Motorway is open to light vehicles only.

    Senior Sergeant Mel Aitken said there had been a series of minor crashes throughout the morning.

    She said she was fed up with some motorists ignoring barriers in the interests of fun, putting innocent people at risk.

    Canterbury Regional Emergency Management office manager Jon Mitchell said strong winds and very cold weather were expected over the next couple of days and people needed to be ready.

    "Heavy rains have already caused significant flooding in South Canterbury in the last few days and this weather system may cause more issues, he said.

    Mr Mitchell said people should stock up on food, water, fuel, alternative lighting and other emergency supplies.

    "We saw what happened in 2006 with damage to power lines and telecommunications."

    The Interisland ferries are sailing again, despite the heavy swells of up to seven metres in Cook Strait. Some ferries were delayed earlier this morning, disrupting the travel plans for hundreds of people.

    The Kaitaki set sail from Wellington just before 10am. Bluebridge has cancelled two sailings this morning.

    Wind gusts earlier brought down a tree, blocking State Highway 75 near Akaroa in Canterbury. The tree fell across the between Little River and the Hill Top.

    - NZPA, NEWSTALK ZB

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    Wintry blast due
    Last updated 10:51 30/05/2009
    CARYS MONTEATH/The Press


    WINTER BEAUTY: The Southern Alps and Kaikora mountains with a mirage effect as seen from the Port Hills Friday morning.

    Although technically winter has not quite begun, New Zealand is in for its second polar blast in two weeks with snow expected to sea level in some areas.

    The MetService has issued a severe weather warning of a strong, very cold southerly expected to reach southern parts of the country this afternoon, spread over Canterbury tonight, and quickly spread north tomorrow morning.

    Snow showers are forecast to lower to sea level from Southland to the Kaikoura coast and fall to "unusually low levels" on the hills in southern, eastern and central parts of the North Island.

    Duty forecaster Oliver Druce said the warning had been issued not because of the amount of snow expected but because of the very low levels involved.

    The snow is likely to close many roads and wind chill is expected to be severe.

    He advised drivers to check road conditions before travelling and farmers to provide shelter for vulnerable stock.

    Conditions are expected to ease on Sunday afternoon in the South Island and Monday morning in the North Island.

    - NZPA

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    Default Yes, May was cold

    Yes, May was cold
    Last updated 16:40 02/06/2009

    Record low mean temperatures over much of the country and heavy rainfalls in many regions throughout May made for an early start to winter, data released today shows.

    Climate figures released by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa) showed May temperatures were between 2.0 and 2.5degC lower than average in many areas.

    The national average temperature was 9.0degC - 1.6degC below the long-term average for May.

    Wairarapa, Canterbury and Otago recorded double their normal rainfall levels for May and the latter two had flooding on May 17 and May 18, while much of Northland, Auckland, Wellington and Southland recorded much higher levels than usual.

    The only areas which got sunshine hours well above normal were Northland, Manawatu, the southwest of the North Island and the West Coast.

    Extreme winds buffeted Wellington several times, snow fell to low levels, tornadoes damaged property in Warkworth and Taranaki, and unusually large hail stones pummelled parts of Bay of Plenty.

    At 3.1degC less than normal, Christchurch had its third-lowest mean maximum air temperature (11.2degC) since records began in 1863, but also recorded the country's highest May temperature (23.0degC) on May 16.

    Four days earlier, a record low of minus 7.0degC was recorded at Hanmer Forest, while Palmerston North and White Island recorded the country's highest May wind gusts of 183kmh on May 8 and May 20 respectively.

    Of the six main centres, Tauranga was the warmest, driest and sunniest, while Wellington was the wettest.

    Following Tauranga (169) for sunshine hours were Auckland (153), Hamilton (144), Christchurch (134), Wellington (130) and Dunedin (100).

    - NZPA

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    Auckland, Hamilton below zero this morning [Cold weather bites in North Island]
    11:40AM Friday Jun 05, 2009


    The Auckland Sky Tower shrouded in fog, and other scenes from a bitterly cold morning in the central North Island. Photos / Alan Gibson / Supplied

    Temperatures in the upper North Island have been colder than in many South Island areas this morning.

    It was minus three in Auckland and minus four in Hamilton. Those temperatures are the coldest of the year so far, and far colder than overnight temperatures in the South Island which are mainly in the positive range.

    Weather Watch analyst Philip Duncan says it is very strange to see the normal temperature ranges throughout the country, reversed.

    "That's basically due to the fact that the cold air left over from the Antarctic blast last weekend still remains across Northern New Zealand, while the rest of the country has seen a bit of a change overnight with clouds and a slight breeze developing ahead of another cold snap."

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    Yes, I believe was somewhere in the region of -4 the other night and yes it was bloody cold Sun's still out though
    Passionate about the unfathomableness opportunities of kiwi-a-gogo-land

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    Yes .. we watched the weather forecast, and heard Canterbury 0 degrees overnight, Hamilton -4 degrees overnight" .... and in the back of my head I remembered Taffy telling us not the move to Christchurch as it was sooo much colder than Hamilton!

    Saying that though, our daytime temps are a few degrees lower but hey - am looking forward to seeing some snow
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    Ahh who cares how cold it is overnight We still got a whole 10 more hours sunshine than ChCh!!
    Taffy

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    Cold snap on the way
    2:50PM Saturday Jun 13, 2009


    Another cold snap is on the way for New Zealand with snow to low levels and extremely low temperatures. Photo / Stephen Jaquiery

    Another cold snap is on the way for New Zealand with snow to low levels and extremely low temperatures, says WeatherWatch.co.nz.

    A southerly is expected to arrive on Sunday in the deep south reaching Auckland by Tuesday. Daytime highs are expected to plummet following a mild few days thanks to a northerly.

    WeatherWatch.co.nz analyst Philip Duncan says single digit highs will spread across the lower two thirds of New Zealand early next week. "It's another short, sharp, shock with snow to low levels around Otago and Canterbury and across the Desert Road".

    Mr Duncan says while snow may fall to near sea level in some South Island areas the snow isn't likely to be heavy. "This looks very similar to the previous two cold snaps which saw snow flakes to low levels but nothing substantial".

    Daytime highs are expected to take a real hit. WeatherWatch.co.nz predicts Queenstown will have snow flurries and a high of just 3 on Monday, with other centres such as Invercargill, Dunedin, Timaru, Christchurch and Wellington reaching only 6 or 7 on Monday or Tuesday.

    Auckland's high is just 11 or 12 on Monday as that southerly arrives.

    Snow may also affect State Highway 2 on the Rimutaka Ranges on Monday night or during Tuesday.

    - NZ HERALD ONLINE

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