Snow turns to rain, thunderstorms

03:45, Aug 08 2014
Snow in Dunedin.
Snow in Dunedin.
Te Anau has awoken to a layer of snow.
Te Anau has awoken to a layer of snow.
Snow blankets South Dunedin and St Kilda beach.
Snow blankets South Dunedin and St Kilda beach.
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Snow at St Kilda Beach.
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Snow frost the dunes at St Kilda Beach in Dunedin.
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The sun rises over Kaikorai Valley, looking towards Mt Cargill this morning.
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Vehicles move drive to the snowy conditions in Dunedin.
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Lights shine around Dunedin's Anderson Bay.
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Invercargill resident Chris Watson is hoping the hail and sleet settles to make a winter wonderland.
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An Air New Zealand flight was grounded at Dunedin Airport this morning.
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Jack russell Eddie encounters snow for the first time.
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Gordon McDiarmid on McKendry Road in Outram snapped some pics this morning.
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Gordon McDiarmid on McKendry Road in Outram snapped some pics this morning.
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Mornington, Dunedin gets a layer of snow.
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Snow falls in North East Valley in Dunedin.
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The hills around Dunedin get a skiff of snow this morning.
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The wintry blast hits at the Aparima river at Wreys Bush in Western Southland.
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The wintry blast hits at the Aparima river at Wreys Bush in Western Southland.
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All seems calm in Roxburgh, Central Otago.
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Snow started falling in Queenstown about 9am this morning.
queenstown snow
Snow started falling in Queenstown about 9am this morning.
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ICY: The driver of this truck was speaking to police after this crash on a snowy State Highway 1, south of Clinton this morning.
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Otago University students Lydia Cross, from left, Katie Everett and Ashleigh Jackson get creative on snow days.
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The mail must get through - Russell Dykes delivers the mail in snowy conditions on his Rural delivery 3, Winton mail run, near Oreti, Central Southland.
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The view from the top of Heriot Row in Dunedin about 8am this morning.
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It was a slow drive after an accident on Saddle Hill in Mosgiel.
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A white start to the day in Willowbank.
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Dunedin landmark Mt Cargill gets a dusting of snow.
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The Dunedin landscape looked nothing short of freezing.
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Snow covers Dunedin.
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The snow adds a fairytale feel to Dunedin.
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Mr Snowy isw the newest addition to Lauren's flat in Dunedin.
Snow covers the hills in the Lindis Pass.
Snow covers the hills in the Lindis Pass.
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Bella Dykes, of Winton, has some fun in the snow today.
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Do you wanna make a snowman?
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The driver of this truck was speaking to police after this crash on a snowy State Highway 1, south of Clinton this morning.
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Rory McLeod 16, of Nightcaps, finds ways to entertain himself on a day off Central Southland College in Winton.
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A Fulton Hogan truck keeps the roads clear on Friday morning near Ohai.
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The roads on the outskirts of Ohai receive a fresh fall of snow.
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A calf tests out the snow on the outskirts of Ohai.
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The main street of Ohai is postcard pretty in the snow.
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Peter Templer of Puketihi Farm, Ohai, feeds out to his sheep.
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Rachael Johns, 15, gets towed by Shayna McLeod 14, both of Nightcaps.
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Tom Ayers, 10, builds a snowman at his Mimihau home, near Wyndham.
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Kayla McGregor, 10, at Wreys Bush is happy with her snowman.
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A grader gets to work on Edenale Hill in Southland.
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Traffic heads south into white-out conditions on SH1 (Tutu Hill Rd) in the Clutha District.
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Trucks crawl north up SH1 at Kaihiku (between Balclutha and Clinton).
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Emergency services personnel check out a truck crash on Beacon Hill Road about 6km north of Waipahi.
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Traffic heads north into white-out conditions on SH1 1 (Tutu Hill Rd) in the Clutha District.

Rain and thunderstorms will replace snow flurries as the freezing level rises in the south today.

Flights were cancelled, roads were closed and schools shut as heavy snow hit Dunedin, Queenstown and Southland.

Is it snowing where you are? Email your newstips, photos and video to newstips@stuff.co.nz

SLIPPERY TIMES: Snow coats Mornington Rd in Dunedin in this webcam image from NZTA.
SLIPPERY TIMES: Snow coats Mornington Rd in Dunedin in this webcam image from NZTA.

MetService meteorologist Liz Walsh said the snow level was rising down south from sea level to around 200 metres overnight, with that trend expected to continue.

"There's still a lot of showers around. If you're down south it will feel like it's snowing but it's actually starting to melt," she said.

Otago, Southland, and Fiordland were in line for showers with hail and thunderstorms, clearing overnight.

Westland, in the meantime, was basking in sunshine.

Canterbury was suffering from a critical southwest flow. "Most areas are quite sheltered, but Christchurch is in the firing line," Walsh said.

"Sleety showers may come in later this evening.

"Snow to 200m could be possible. People will be able to see it on the Port Hills and Banks Peninsula."

At the north of the South Island, showers would clear this afternoon.

There was a chance of thunder in Wellington, with southerly winds. Further north along the east coast the weather was fine today but would likely turn this evening with showers coming through.

Snow was likely to accumulate in the central North Island to 800m. "There may also be a few sprinkles of snow on the Desert Road," Walsh said.

The southerly blast this morning brought snow to near sea level in the deep south overnight, with a white-out in Dunedin, and flurries in Queenstown.

Flights have been cancelled, and roads and schools closed as heavy snow hits Dunedin, Queenstown and Southland.

Four arrivals were cancelled and two were diverted from tourist hotspot, according to the airport's website, with the corresponding departure flights also cancelled.

There was snow on the Crown Range between Queenstown and Wanaka and motorists were advised to carry chains.

Most Dunedin schools were closed today, and bus services in the city had been stopped due to road conditions. 

FARMING WOES

Heavy snow has come at a bad time for most dairy farmers well into calving in Southland and Otago.

The only silver lining is that lambing has yet to start in the hill country, farmers say

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"There are a lot of people in Otago and Southland that are in the thick of calving, which will prove challenging with temperatures dropping to zero degrees," Federated Farmers Southland president Russell MacPherson said today.

Snow was blanketing pastures, but the real test would come from the wind chill.

"The bitter chill cuts through you and newborn calves won't be able to cope for long in these conditions," he said.

"Farmers know what they are doing and they will be busy feeding out to stock and pushing them to shelter to get them through. Whilst the wind chill has died down . . . the main focus will be rushing the new born calves to the calving shed to keep them warm.

MacPherson said sheep farmers would be reasonably thankful that they were not lambing yet and still on winter feed rotations.

WEATHER TWEETS

Very slippery on Dunedin roads this morning. Check conditions before you go out #snow pic.twitter.com/3f6KQPNmDQ

No Dunedin bus services were currently running, Otago Regional Council said. Otago Polytechnic had closed its Dunedin campus for teaching today due to snow.

Snowday on a Friday? Yes please! Dunedin this morning @PhilipDuncan @WeatherWatchNZ pic.twitter.com/YcNJB0Cwgx

Just a light sprinkling of snow at my place this morning.... #Dunedin pic.twitter.com/n9vDG9J7KM

Snow pic in Dunedin pic.twitter.com/7XclGh4ekr

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