Snow spotted in central Wellington

05:00, Jul 25 2011
Snow outside the Airport Gateway Lodge, Christchurch.
Snow outside the Airport Gateway Lodge, Christchurch.
Snow at the Airport Gateway Lodge, Christchurch.
Snow at the Airport Gateway Lodge, Christchurch.
Snow on Memorial Avenue, Christchurch.
Snow on Memorial Avenue, Christchurch.
Snow in the suburb of Cashmere, Christchurch.
Snow in the suburb of Cashmere, Christchurch.
Snow in central Christchurch.
Snow in central Christchurch.
Snow in central Christchurch.
Snow in central Christchurch.
Snow falls in central Christchurch.
Snow falls in central Christchurch.
Snow falls in central Christchurch.
Snow falls in central Christchurch.
Snow in Caversham, Dunedin.
Snow in Caversham, Dunedin.
Snow in Whitemans Valley, north of Wellington.
Snow in Whitemans Valley, north of Wellington.
View of snow-covered suburbs from Westmorland, Christchurch.
View of snow-covered suburbs from Westmorland, Christchurch.
Snow blankets Lyttelton.
Snow blankets Lyttelton.
Snow in the Rimutakas behind Eastbourne, Wellington.
Snow in the Rimutakas behind Eastbourne, Wellington.
Debbie Sheehy's home on Rawhitiroa Rd, near Eltham, was coated in powdery white snow this morning.
Debbie Sheehy's home on Rawhitiroa Rd, near Eltham, Taranaki, was coated in powdery white snow this morning.
Snow covers everything on Weston Road, St Albans, Christchurch, including a civil defence portaloo put in place after the February Christchurch quake.
Snow covers everything on Weston Road, St Albans, Christchurch, including a civil defence portaloo put in place after the February Christchurch quake.
Snow covers a track near the Wainuiomata water catchment area, Wellington.
Snow covers a track near the Wainuiomata water catchment area, Wellington.
Enjoying the snow.
Enjoying the snow.
Snow covers the ground outside of Taihape in the North Island.
Snow covers the ground outside of Taihape in the North Island.
Planking in the snow, Christchurch.
Planking in the snow, Hagley Park, Christchurch.
From Huntsbury Hill looking over Christchurch.
From Huntsbury Hill looking over Christchurch.
Reuben the cat checking out the snow in Alexandra.
Reuben the cat checking out the snow in Alexandra.
Snow in Lyttelton, Canterbury.
Snow in Lyttelton, Canterbury.
Brent Neilson snowboarding on the street in Church Bay, Canterbury.
Brent Neilson snowboarding on the street in Church Bay, Canterbury.
Atomic Shuttles bus stuck on Papanui Road.
A shuttle bus stuck on Papanui Road.
The winter blast covered Redcliffs and Moncks Bay, Christchurch, down to the beach with a thick coating in snow early this morning.
The winter blast covered Redcliffs and Moncks Bay, Christchurch, down to the beach with a thick coating in snow early this morning.
Hills Road Christchurch is deserted except for a few cars.
Hills Road Christchurch is deserted except for a few cars.
Redcliffs and Moncks Bay were covered down to the beach with a thick coating of snow.
Redcliffs and Moncks Bay were covered down to the beach with a thick coating of snow.
A cold start for Lyttelton.
A cold start for Lyttelton.
Snow fell along the Motueka Valley Highway.
Snow fell along the Motueka Valley Highway.
Matt and Josh Neilson
Matt Neilson, 11, snow boarding on the street watched by his brother, Josh, 10, in Church Bay.
A view of Mt Arthur from the Ruby Bay bypass, Nelson.
A view of Mt Arthur from the Ruby Bay bypass, Nelson.
Snow closed the road near the Kaitoke Loop, north of Wellington.
Snow closed the road near the Kaitoke Loop Rd, north of Wellington.
Jaidyn and Kaylah, with their snowman in Opawa.
Jaidyn and Kaylah, with their snowman in Opawa.
Justin Mycroft can't resist a taste of all the white stuff that fell overnight around Taupo and was one of many locals who made the most of the snow.
Justin Mycroft can't resist a taste of all the white stuff that fell overnight around Taupo and was one of many locals who made the most of the snow.
An igloo in Christchurch.
An igloo in Christchurch.
Students Kurt Shearer, Michelle Quinn, and Tom Steward dress light for the snow.
Students Kurt Shearer, Michelle Quinn, and Tom Steward dress light for the snow.
surf
Hardy surfer heads down the road.
Igloo
Warming up: Elliott Gresty enjoys a hot chocolate after constructing both a snowman and an igloo in Church Bay.
Snowman
Just hanging: Monty the snowman relaxes with friends in Edgeware, Christchurch.
Christchurch awakes to a blanket of snow under blue skies, a day after the blizzard.
Christchurch awakes to a blanket of snow under blue skies, a day after the blizzard.
Kaitoke Regional Park
WHITE OUT: Holiday makers enjoy the snow at the Kaitoke Regional Park.

Snow falls have been reported across Wellington today and freezing conditions are expected to continue in the coming days.

The Metservices predicts heavy frosts will affect much of New Zealand after the worst of the weather clears this evening.

The mercury continues to plunge with the current temperature in Wellington 4.2 degrees, but feels like -2 degrees.

Snow on the hills above Paekakariki.
Snow on the hills above Paekakariki.
snow 2
Snow on the hills behind Paraparaumu taken from The Drive.
Snow 3
Snow on the hills behind Paraparaumu taken from The Drive.
snow
Snow in Whitemans Valley near Upper Hutt.
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A ute drives near the Kaitoke Loop Road.
phil 2
Three-year-old Esther Morris from Te Marua enjoys the snow at Kaitoke.
phil 3
Snow closed the road near the Kaitoke Loop Rd.
phil 4
A truck drives along the Kaitoke Loop Rd.
phil 5
Anna Wagner from Kaitoke decided to turm around and go home due to the snow.
phil 6
A dusting of snow cover the hills and trees near Kaitoke Loop Road.
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Snow around homes in Kirton Drive in Riverstone, Upper Hutt.
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Snowy conditions made driving difficult.
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Some drivers continued to drive in the icy conditions.
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Snow on the road.
Eastbourne
Snow on the hills behind Eastbourne.

Did you get a photo of snow in Wellington? Send your pics to web@dompost.co.nz

Related story: Wintry blast hits South Island

Snow was reportedly falling in Wellington's CBD earlier today. In a tweet, the MetService said snow was spotted falling on the Terrace.

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WeatherWatch reported that isolated snow showers been seen falling to sea level in Wellington, but it had not settled on the ground.

About 10cm of snow dropped on the Rimutaka Hills this morning and another 3 or 4cm was expected during the day. Snow was reported to be falling on the Kapiti Coast and in Upper Hutt, Kelburn, Brooklyn, Wainui, Seaview, Masterton and Martinborough.

MetService spokesman Bob McDavitt said this was the largest dump of snow seen on hills around Wellington for about 15 years.

Snow continues to fall on the Rimutaka Hill Road, which is unlikely to re-open tonight, the New Zealand Transport Agency said.

Motorists were advised to go North on SH3 via the Manawatu Gorge, or use the train.

Drivers should also be on the lookout for ice and drive to the conditions.

State Highway 2 from Nuhaka to Gisborne and State Highway 85 from Palmerston to Kyeburn are also closed.

The Taihape Road between Hawke's Bay and Taihape was closed at 6pm last night. Hastings District Council said it would remain closed until further notice.

See readers' photos of snow around Wellington

Bruce Wills, who farms on the Napier-Taupo Road, said he was "surrounded in white" and stuck indoors this morning.

The head of Federated Farmers' 1100ha farm sits at an altitude of 300-400metres and was covered in about 10cm of snow this morning.

"The whole place is covered in white. I won't be going anywhere today," Mr Wills said.

He said the storm was well forecast and farmers would have taken all steps to feed stock and move them to more sheltered paddocks.

"We do expect cold weather in the depths of winter so I can't imagine there are too many concerns among farming folk," Mr Wills said.

Sheep hadn't been shorn for many months and had a good coat of wool on them, he said.

Whiteman's Valley resident Casey McNeil woke this morning to hills blanketed with snow. It was the most he had seen in 20 years living in the valley, he said.

"The cows didn't know what to do, they're wandering around trying to scratch for the grass."

It was still snowing now, and it was bitterly cold, he said. "Your hands are freezing in minutes."

Despite the cold his young children had been jumping on the bed with excitement, eager to get up the hill to play in the powder.

In Taupo, snow blanketed Acacia Bay, Mt Tauhara and Broadlands Road.

Acacia Bay resident Malcolm Brodie said it was the first time in 17 years snow had fallen in the area.

Families around Taupo were building snowmen and playing with sleds.

MetService issued a heavy-snow warning for the central North Island high country from Taupo to Taihape, for Hawke's Bay and Gisborne, and for Fiordland, Southland, eastern Otago, Canterbury, and Kaikoura.

A watch for heavy snow was also in place for the Taranaki, Wairarapa, Marlborough and Nelson regions.

Snow showers were even likely to fall on the usually sunny ranges of Northland and the Coromandel Peninsula.

MetService forecaster Oliver Druce said the southerly winds, originating in Antarctica, were moving at high speeds that made them even colder.

"This is probably the coldest one we've had for a few years; it's right up there," he said.

However, the weather was expected to clear tomorrow and remain fine for the remainder of the week.

WHAT TO EXPECT IN WELLINGTON

Today

Max: 7C

Min: 2C

Sleety showers with strong, very cold southerlies.

Tomorrow

Max: 11C

Min: 5C

Early showers clearing, then fine.

Northwesterlies later.

Wednesday

Max: 13C

Min: 6C

Fine with fresh northwesterlies.

The Dominion Post