Snow falls in North Island

MICHAEL DALY
Last updated 07:26 13/11/2012

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Snow has been falling on the Desert Road in the central North Island this morning.

MetService forecaster Larissa Marintchemko said a ‘‘dusting’’ of snow had already settled on the Central Plateau stretch of State Highway One.

Snow was still falling at 6am in areas above 1400m. It was expected to turn to showers, before clearing tonight.

The Desert Road was the only stretch of highway with a road snowfall warning overnight.

Forecaster Chris Noble said he was not aware of snow falling on any roads elsewhere in the country and did not expect it to.

Snow in the high passes was not unusual at this time of year, with the Desert Road pushing up over 1000m, Noble said.

"It just got cold enough overnight to have a bit of a dusting there, but temperatures will warm up this morning. I don't expect to have too many problems there throughout the rest of the day."

There was "a big of a messy" weather situation over the country.

A low covered northern New Zealand, while over the lower half of the South Island there was a southerly flow which was a little cooler.

MetService is predicting rain today with some heavy falls for Gisborne and Hawke's Bay. For the top half of the North Island including the Bay of Plenty and Taupo showers are expected to become widespread by late morning, while scattered thunderstorms with hail and localised downpours are forecast for this afternoon and evening.

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