Snow in winterless north amid weather chaos

09:25, Aug 16 2011
Snow in Kilbirnie
Kilbirnie in Wellington is seeing its share of the white stuff.
Grace Stevens in Wellngton suburb Khandallah.
Grace Stevens in Wellington suburb Khandallah.
Snow angel
Ally Ringrose, 13, makes a snow angel in Titahi Bay.
Olivia Stevens
Olivia Stevens wraps up warm to brave the snow in Broadmeadows.
Oliver and Mitchell show off their snowman in Johnsonville, Wellington.
Snow Feilding
Snow falling on Esther Roger's backyard in Feilding.
Snowy road in Christchurch
Snowy road conditions in Christchurch on Monday morning.
Halswell snowboarding
Jeremy Flett saw this morning's snow as a good excuse to crack out the snowboard
Snow Bunnythorpe
Snow falling in Bunnythorpe on Sunday night.
Snow covered elm in Manawatu
An elm tree covered in snow in the Songbird Gardens in the Pohangina Valley, Manawatu.
Snow in Wither Hills, Marlborough
Snow in Wither Hills, Marlborough
Brent Doughty's car covered in snow in Feilding.
Snow in Wellington
Deck chairs covered with snow at Titahi Bay.
Snow in Wellington
Monica Murray, 8, of Whitby, playing in the snow on Sunday night.
Snowfall in Marlborough.
Mount Vernon lookout after rare snowfall in Marlborough.
Snow in Wellington
A chilean snowman created after Sunday's flurry.
Snow in Wellington
From left, Ella Clarke, Caitlin Clarke, Jessie Williams, Lucy Clarke, Ollie Williams and Timmy Williams enjoy the snow on Sunday.
A home in Marton blanketed in snow.
Snow in Wellington
Eleanor Currier poses for a photo in the snow in Elsdon, Porirua.
Snow in Wellington
Snow falls in Khandallah on Sunday night.
Snow trampoline
This young Cantab knows trampolines are far more excitng when they are covered in snow.
Umberella snow
This pair try to shelter from the snow underneath an umbrella
Snow in Wellington
Anjali Gupta with a snow man she made on Ashton Fitchett Dr in Brooklyn.
Jim Matthews' dog Mica encountered snow for the first time this morning in Masterston
Snow in Wellington
Looking east over Lower Hutt towards Wainuiomata and the Rimutaka ranges at about 7am on Monday morning from Tirohanga Rd.
Snow in Wellington
Looking out from Jaunpur Crescent from Broadmeadows at 9:30 on Monday.
Snow in Wellington
A thick coating of snow remains on the ground in Broadmeadows - including dog tracks.
Snow in Wellington
Zachery Gilligan at Titahi Bay beach on Sunday.
Snow in Marlborough
Hamish Grigg with sheep dogs. Snow at Tempello farm, half-way up hills at the end of Fairhall Valley, Marlborough.
Snow in Wellington
A snowman built on Halswater Drive, Churton Park by Jono and Kirsty Vautier.
Photograph from the Atkins family, who live on the slopes of Mt Pirongia.
Photograph from the Atkins family, who live on the slopes of Mt Pirongia.
Photograph from the Atkins family, who live on the slopes of Mt Pirongia.
Mckayla, Tyrell, Mako and Titan have enjoyed snow only for the second time.
Snow in Wellington
Snow falls on the Parliament grounds.
Snow in Inglewood
Steve Anker from Inglewood, Taranaki sent this photo in.
Cat in an igloo
Michelle Campbell built her cat an igloo.
Snow on in Bombay, near Auckland
This pic was taken by Anne Knight in Bombay of her dog covered in snow this morning.
Snow pics from readers
Cooper McNeill gets his first snow experience at Mt Stewart, Fielding.
Snow in Canterbury
Snow in Canterbury. Clinch family of Diamond Harbour building an igloo.
readers' pics
Kerry and Dave photographed this chicken in Normandale, Lower Hutt.
Snow in Taupo
Waiariki Polytechnic Taupo carpentry students used their skills to build a sled and try out a new snow run near Mapara Road, Taupo. Pictured (from left) Lane Bennet (sitting), John Wall, Luke Mitai and Jeremy Bryce (tutor).
Animals in the snow
A cow munches away in a white field while the snow falls.
Inglewood snow creations
The Packman family of Inglewood made use of the snow by making figures for each family member. From left they are (in person) Mackenzie, 1, Mike, Aria, 2, Jess, Alex, 3 months and Riley, 4.
Snow in Wellington
Snow on Willis St, Wellington.
Snow in Wellington
Snowfall around Willis Street, Wellington.
Snowfall on Willis st
Snowfall around Willis Street, Wellington.
Snowfall on Willis st
Snowfall around Willis Street, Wellington.
Egmont Village School pupils, from left, Mason Keightley-Trigg, Shanika Beard, Olivia Keightley-Trigg and Lukah Gibb make a snow man from the fallen powder.
Snowing in Christchurch
The dadffodils are usually a symbol that spring has arrived. The flowers in bloom already at Egmont Village School got a frosty fright.
An igloo built by Aaron and Jared in New Brighton, Christchurch.
Happy Independence Day from Christchurch.
Snow in Wellington.
Snow in Wellington.
Water trough frozen over near Patearoa, Central Otago.
Staff of Victoria University of Wellington in Kelburn.
Jamie makes snow angels in Aotea, Porirua.
View of TVNZ building in Hutt Valley.
Brad Marshall boogie-boarding down Sunrise Boulevard in Tawa.
ChristChurch Cathedral in snow
Snow in Christchurch's earthquake-shattered CBD including the Cathedral (centre).

Hundreds of people face another freezing night without power as a polar blast continues to grip the country with more heavy snow due overnight.

The severe weather has also prompted police to close roads around the Wellington region, stranding many commuters.

Road closures include the Rimutaka Hill Road, Wainuiomata Hill Road, Paekakariki Hill Road, State Highway 58 (Haywards) between State Highway 2 to Moonshine Road and Blue Mountains Road in Upper Hutt.

Snow in Dunedin
Snow tops the roofs on Dundas Street in North Dunedin.
sheep in snow
Flurries of snow settled on sheep near Te Anau this afternoon.
Audi stuck in snow
A car didn't handle the conditions on Dunedin's Whare Flat Road this afternoon
Snow in Wainuiomata
Wainuiomata residents were delighted by the unusual sight of snow.
Rimutaka snow
Belmont father and son Mike and Joey Palmer enjoying the snow.
Mt Oxford
The southerly front approaching, as seen from Mt Oxford in North Canterbury.
Churton Park snow
Eight-year-old Ki takes a bike ride in Churton Park, outside of Wellington.
Snow, Shag rock and Moncks Bay, Christchurch, Monday morning.
Snow blankets the beach at Shag rock and Moncks Bay, Christchurch, Monday morning.
Wild weather hits country
Snow fall in Carterton in the Wairarapa.
Snow in Kaikoura
Anika Woods, 12, and brother Oaklea Woods, 2, make the most of a day off together in the snow.
Snow in Tokoroa
Snow in Tokoroa
Snow in Christchurch
Zeeva Cohen from Auckland walking down Papanui rd, Christchurch.
Snow in Christchurch
St Andrews students on the center strip of Bealey Ave, Christchurch City.
Snow in Christchurch
John Burrows and kids play in the snow in the portaloo-equipped Silverdale Place, Avonside, Christchurch.
Snow in Christchurch
Snow fall in and around the New Brighton area as a southerly front passes through. Sam and Chessa Crow of Christchurch around the New Brighton library.
Snow in Wellington
Snow falling in Peck St, Pomare, Lower Hutt. Emil, 17 and Mika Ulberg, 8, gather snow to throw at family members.They have never seen snow before.
Snow in Wellington
Snow covers train tracks at Tawa.
Snow in Wellington
Chilly train passengers wait at Tawa station on Sunday.
Grace, 9 and Matt, 5, Flint on Weston Road in Merivale.
Snow fall on New Brighton beach as a southerly front passes through.
Antigua St boatsheds by the Hospital
CERA worker Luke Austin ditched the car and walks to work by the Hagley Netball courts.
Snow in Wellington
Snow returns to Wellington on Monday morning.
Snow in Wellington
Snow in Willis Street, Wellington. Youri, 6, and his brother Mathis, 9, Apparicio from Canada enjoy the snow in Willis Street.
Snow in Queenstown
Coal chases snowball thrown by her owners, Lisa and Stephen Counsell - snow in Queenstown.
Snow in Queenstown
A Bellbird at a frozen bird feeder. Snow in Queenstown.
Cows and snow
South Canterbury awoke to a covering of Snow on Monday morning. pictured is Jen Bolt feeding her calves near Milford at Temuka.
Snow in Taranaki
Taranaki was blanketed in snow.
Snow in Taranaki
Taranaki was blanketed in snow.
Taranaki gets snow
Taranaki was blanketed with snow.
Snow in Wellington
A man on The Terrace crosses the road as it snows in Wellington city.
Snow in Queenstown
Matthew Bouzaid, 15, of Auckland, puts the finishing touches to a snowman in Queenstown.
Snowfall in Christchurch
Wendy Wu finda a good use of Pak n Save shopping bags.
William Donaldson, 2, playing in snow falling in Karori.
snowing in Christchurch
Snow in Christchurch - an Oryx at Orana Park.
Snowboarding in Brooklyn, Wellington
Student Nick Hanover Snowboarding in Brooklyn, Wellington.
Dinghies at Purau Wharf on Banks Peninsula.
Clinch family of Diamond Harbour, on Banks Peninsula, building an igloo.
Snow makes driving difficult in Diamond Harbour on Banks Peninsula.
Canterbury snow
Pilot William Barnes took this shot as he departed from Christchurch Airport.
Taranaki snow
Pilot William Barnes captured this image of the Taranaki region from 11,000 metres.
Taranaki snow
Pilot William Barnes captured this image of the Taranaki region from 11,000 metres.
Snow in Wellington
The Beehive endures a blanketing of snow in Wellington.

> For a list of closed roads, airports, schools and hospitals click here.

Some Wellington and Christchurch residents were unable to leave their houses earlier today as the roads were too unsafe to drive on, and public transport was severely hit.

Travellers were stranded at airports as some flights were cancelled, particularly in Christchurch, Queenstown and Wellington where the airports were closed for part of the day.


Snow in Christchurch St
Snow in Christchurch, Tuesday morning.
Bailey the cat in snow
Bailey the cat, with "lion haircut" ventures out into the snow from his Churton Park, Wellington, home.
Snow, Churton Park
Tuesday morning, Churton Park, Wellington.
Enzo the dalmation, snow
Enzo the dalmation jumps to catch a snowball in Sumner, Christchurch.
Snowman, Christchurch
Suburban snowman, Christchurch.
Dog in snow, Johnsonville
Dog digging in the snow, Johnsonville, Wellington.
Dog in snow, Oxford, Canterbury
Dog in the snow, Oxford, North Canterbury.
Icicles, Oxford, North Canterbury.
Icicles, Oxford, North Canterbury.
Mt Kaukau, snow
Aerial photo of Mt Kaukau on approach to Wellington Airport, Tuesday morning.
Grenada aerial photo of snow
Aerial photo of Grenada, north Wellington, taken Tuesday morning.
Snow kirk
Shannon Kirk's partner made the most of being snowed in at Whitemans Valley in Upper Hutt by building a snowman.
Snow McIlroy
Cross country skiing was a novel way of travelling down Tinakori Hill in Wellington.
Snow Icicle
Mitchell Gardyne holds an icicle measuring more than 140cms tall on Crown Tce in Queenstown.
Snow watson
A naked twist on pausing for thought in the snow.
Snow Pip
Pip enjoys the novelty of snow on north New Brighton beach.
Snow octagon
Pranksters left their mark in Dunedin's Octagon, which Emma Johnston saw in this web camera footage yesterday.
Snow Karori
Snow falls in Karori.
Snow monkey
A primate-take on the snowman in Westmorland, Christchurch.
Snow horse
A horse rolls in the snow.
Snow pigeon
A kereru hunkers down in Upper Hutt.
Snow Xanthe
Xanthe-Saunders goes for a swing at Castlerock, Southland.
Chch Airport
Christchurch airport blanketed in snow.
Snow curl
Snow poses a threat to this gutter in Johnsonville.
Snow avondale
A snowman takes over the safety messages in Avondale, Christchurch.
Snow camp
A real winter camp in Cashmere, Christchurch.
snow after
White streets in Lower Hutt.
snow upper hut
The main street of Upper Hutt.
Snow valleys
A view over the top of Stokes Valley and Whiteman's Valley with the South Island in the distance.
Snow Palmy
Snow falls in Palmerston North.
Snow yoda
James Thorne stands by his Yoda snowman in Christchurch.
Snow Richmond
Slater St in Richmond, Christchurch.
Snow igloo
Josh and Hayden peak out from their igloo in Methven.
snow kaukau
A still morning in Mt Kaukau, Wellington.
Snow Kaukau
Winter has Wellington in its grip in this shot from Mt Kaukau in Wellington.
Snow iglooo
An igloo constructed brick by brick by some Christchurch students.
Snow waikuku
Snowboarding at Waikuku Beach.
snow birds
Wax-eyes fight for food in Christchurch.
Snow dogs
Two dogs, complete with winter coats, play in the snow in Mairehau, Christchurch.
Snow Makara
The view from Makara Peak.
Snow HCR
An aerial view of Wellington.
Snow HCR
An aerial view over Wellington's wind farm.

All airports were now reopened, but warned travel could again be disrupted due to the weather.

In Wellington, more than 20 flights have either been cancelled or delayed after the airport closed its runway for nearly two hours this evening.

At 8pm, about 140 Orion customers were without power in Leeston, Tai Tapu and Dunsandel and around Christchurch city.

Power was also out to 50 homes outside Wellington and about 300 homes in South Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatu and Wairarapa.

Residents in the lower North Island have been warned that more power cuts are expected.

A further 15 to 30 centimetres of snow was forecast to fall above 400 metres near Wellington until midnight tonight, and severe winds were expected to lash coastal areas between Canterbury, Wellington and Wairarapa.

Snow again fell in the northern hill suburbs of Wellington and in parts of the Hutt Valley early this evening. The heaviest snow was forecast for Canterbury with 15-30cm at lower levels and 30-60cm above 300 metres.

But while more heavy snow was expected this evening, forecasters say the end is in sight.

MetService spokesman Bob McDavitt said the icy southerly was expected to strengthen again, before gradually easing from tomorrow evening.

"While more snow is likely, the end is in sight. It's still a few days away though."


The snow that has blanketed the country since Sunday has hit parts of the country usually immune from winter including Mount Tutamoe, just north of Dargaville, which was dusted with snow this morning.

Tramper Viv Trounson said the snow on the summit was two inches thick when he made an early morning trek. He was about 580m up the mount when it started and he said snow fell steadily for around an hour.

"The snowflakes were as big as 20c pieces," he said. " It was absolutely wonderful, it was beautiful."

Jaime Melanson, who lives in Mahuta Gap just south of Dargaville, said the snow was accompanied by wind gusts of 111kmh at 8am.

Climate scientist Georgina Griffiths, of the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), said yesterday was the coldest day in Auckland since records began in 1961.

The temperature at the airport reached 8.1 degrees Celsius - compared with the previous lowest high of 8.7C, on July 4, 1996.

While at the Wellington Airport the temperature got to 6.8C making it the second coldest day there since records began in 1959, the first being 6.5C on June 21, 1976.

NIWA also confirmed a large number of record low August maximum temperatures yesterday, particularly in North Island locations.

At Tauranga's airport, the mercury fell to 8.9C - its lowest since 1941. Temperatures dropped to 3.5C in Martinborough - the lowest in August since 1986 and in Waiouru the mercury fell to -1.0C, the lowest since 1972.

In Palmerston North temperatures fell to 6.2C - the lowest August temperature since 1940, and in Hamilton, the mercury dropped to 6.8C, the second coldest day in August since 1940. Gisborne also recorded its second lowest temperature since 1940 at 8.2C.

But New Zealanders had good news to look forward to - MetService said the temperature would creep up by about one degree each day until the end of the week.

Many state highways around New Zealand were closed, including the Desert Road and Rimutaka Hill road in the North Island and the Lewis Pass and Arthurs Pass in the South Island.

Police have warned of treacherous driving conditions as the snow would turn to ice, which has already seen one car slide off the road on the southbound lane near the Tawa off ramp this morning.

Prime Minister John Key called on employers to be compassionate to workers who were snowed in, and said the timing of the weather was "slightly lucky" as farmers were just beginning lambing season.

"If there is a whole lot of snow and ice and you can't get out of your driveway then you'd expect employers to take a generous view towards that," Key said.

Conditions in the northern hill suburbs of Wellington remained hazardous with 24 hours of snow now frozen on the ground.
The Transport Agency was liaising with police to get the slush swept off roads, and grit poured over the worst-hit places to give more traction.

These include the Ngauranga Gorge, State Highway One near Otaki, Levin and Manakau, and State Highway 56 near the Longburn overbridge where numerous cars were reported to have slid off the road.

Mail was not delivered for a second day in some parts of the country with the entire lower North Island missing a postal delivery today.

Many children stayed at home as some school in Wellington and all schools in Christchurch were closed. And bus services were disrupted in both cities.

- Stuff, Dargaville News, The Dominion Post, The Press, Southland Times and Taranaki Daily News