Snow closes Rimutaka Hill Rd

06:02, Sep 24 2009

A cold blast sweeping across the Wellington region has dumped snow on the Rimutaka ranges, closing the main hill route.

The State Highway 2 road over the hill is closed until further notice due to snow, says Transit.

More snow is forecast for the Wairarapa, Wellington and the Manawatu, and motorists are warned to be aware of poor visibility and surface water.

Police have also reported snow falling in the Manawatu Gorge, on the Pahiatua Track and in the Norsewood area.

On State Highway 1, in the central North Island, there was flooding north of Bulls, and high winds between Sanson and Foxton.

Wellington has failed to hit double figure temperatures today, recording its high of 9 degC at Wellington Airport at 9am. It has got progressively cooler during the day and at 2.30pm was only 6.5 degC. At the same time, it was sitting under 6 degC in neighbouring Lower Hutt.

A MetService spokesman said it would be slightly warmer in the Capital during the day tomorrow, but still was not expected to reach double figure temperatures.

In the South Island, it was 8 degC at 2.30pm in Christchurch. By contrast, Aucklanders had a high of 18 degC, recorded at the city's airport.

The spokesman said a series of cold fronts over the last few days were responsible for the chilly conditions in Wellington. However, it was Auckland's turn tonight; the city was in for some "nasty weather" overnight, including the possibility of thunder storms, he said.