Wintry tail to lash lower island

MICHAEL FORBES
Last updated 14:57 13/08/2014

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Winter still has some sting left in its tail, which Wellington and the lower North Island will feel in the coming days.

The capital’s fine afternoon is forecast to turn into showers and then more consistent rain tonight as a cold southwesterly change makes its way up the country.

‘‘It’s not going to be a very nice night unfortunately,’’ MetService meteorologist John Law said.

Sleety showers were expected to turn to snow on the Desert Road tonight.

From 11pm through until 10am tomorrow, between 4 and 8 centimetres of snow is forecast to accumulate on the road above 800 metres, with lesser amounts to 600 metres.

The same was expected to happen from 6pm tomorrow through until midnight as a second trough of low pressure rode through on the coast-tails of the first front.

The New Zealand Transport Agency was already warning motorists to take care on the Desert road this afternoon because of icy conditions.

No snowfall warnings were currently in place for Rimutaka Hill road between Upper Hutt and Featherston.

Law said cold southwesterlies were expected to hang around the lower and central North Island until Friday and could reach severe gale force in some parts.

A high of 11 degrees Celsius was forecast for Wellington tomorrow and Friday. But with the winds blowing through, it would likely feel a lot colder than that.

‘‘The good news is that things are looking a lot brighter for the weekend,’’ Law said.

‘‘At this stage, it’s going to fine weather on Saturday and Sunday with the possibility of an odd shower or two on Sunday night.’’

The MetService was predicting more settled weather over the final two weeks of winter, but temperatures would remain pretty cold, he said.

‘‘We’re still not done with winter just yet.’’

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- The Dominion Post

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