Road open, but snow keeps falling

BRONWYN TORRIE AND TOM HUNT
Last updated 11:51 12/09/2012
storm 1
SARAH LEE Zoom
Dark clouds over Wellington, taken about 1:30PM.

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Wellington Weather

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Rimutaka Hill road was closed for six hours this morning as a cold snap hit the Wellington region.

The road was closed at 5.15am but was reopened about 11.20am.

NZTA crews have worked this morning to clear snow from the highway and through to Featherston.

Work would continue through the day, which would mean delays, NZTA Wellington operations manager Mark Owen said.

"Light snow is still falling and safety remains paramount, so we'll be keeping a very close eye on conditions, and we urge motorists to drive with care and to the conditions."

MetService meteorologist Daniel Corbett said snow was expected to keep falling on the Rimutaka Hill and hills over 400mm-500m around Wellington until about 7pm.

He said it was a result of ''black and ugly" clouds moving in from the south.

On the Rimutaka Hill Rd it was expected 4cm-8cm of snow would settle.

The same showers would fall as cold rain in Wellington but would move towards Wairarapa this afternoon.

Wellington, sitting at 8degC at 10.30am, would struggle to get beyond double figures today.

A low of 4degC is forecast tonight.

Earlier today there were reports of snow flurries in Karori and in Featherston.

The city was spared the brunt of the storm that arrived yesterday as temperatures only plunged to 7degC, which was 3degC warmer than forecast.

A Wellington Electricity spokesman said part of a roof from a house in Seaview, Lower Hutt, got blown off late last night, taking out power to four homes.

Yesterday, the temperature at Wellington Airport plunged from 13degC at 1pm to 7.8degC at 4pm.

Heavy hail was reported in Johnsonville and Miramar after the first band of rain hit about 1.30pm.

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- The Dominion Post

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