Big snow set to follow the rain

09:01, Jun 17 2013
Flooded pasture in north Canterbury
UNDER WATER: Pastures disappearing under floodwaters in North Canterbury.
St Albans flooding
WET START TO WEEK: Flooding in Francis Ave, Mairehau.
Mairehau flooding
RISING WATER: Flooding in Thornton St, Mairehau.
Mairehau flooding
SOAKED: Flooding outside Rummy Strong's flat in Thornton St, Mairehau.
Heathcote River
OVERFLOWING: The Heathcote River in Cashmere overflowing its banks.
Teddington flooding
WET LANDS: Flooding at Teddington straight, Banks Peninsula.
Christ the King School
OUT OF ACTION: Christ the King School in Burnside has been closed because of "severe flooding".
Weston Rd flooding
BIG PUDDLES: Flooding in Weston Rd, off Cranford St.
Avonside Drive flooding
MAKING A SPLASH: Avonside Drive is flooded this morning.
Car under floodwaters in Riverlaw Tce, St Martins
ST MARTINS: Riverlaw Tce has burst its banks overnight.
Unhappy motorist Anton Bailey in Riverlaw Tce, St Martins
NOT HAPPY: Anton Bailey struggles under rising waters in St Martins.
Jeremy Thomas, of Mulcocks Rd
HISTORY REPEATS: Jeremy Thomas, of Mulcocks Rd, says the flooding was similar four years ago when he had to move everything to 150mm off the ground.
Flooding on Francis Ave. St Albans
ST ALBANS: Floodwaters have swamped Francis Ave.
Threckelds road in Ohoka.
STRANDED: This home at the northern end of Threckelds Rd, Ohoka, is surrounded by water.
Christchurch flooding
Charles Fox says his Christchurch backyard has been turned into a lake.
Loburn flooding
DRENCHED: Loburn has not escaped the wet weather.
Loburn flooding
MUDDY WATERS: Flooding in Loburn.
Mairehau flooding
NEW TRANSPORT: Residents float down Carrick St, Mairehau.
Edgeware Rd flooding
WET MONDAY: Drivers carefully navigate a flooded Edgeware Rd.
Leaky North Beach home
LEAKY HOME: Tracey McKeefry and her children, Finton, 15, and Piper, 12, live in a damaged TC3 home where tarpaulins fail to keep the rain out.
Silverstream flooding
COVERED: The Silverstream subdivision in Giles Rd is flooded.
Edgeware Rd flooding
CLEANING UP: Edgeware Rd's Peter Timbs Meats staff member Mitch King sweeps water out the front door as customers make their way over the flooded footpath.
Trevor Crow in flooded Flockton St
MAIREHAU: Trevor Crow wades through a flooded Flockton St.
Warrington dairy flooding
WADING THROUGH: A customer makes his way back to his car outside the Warrington Discount Dairy.
Thornton St
FINE WEATHER FOR FEATHERS: The ducks may be the only happy ones in Mairehau's Thornton St.
Dusana Kent
WET FEET: Dusana Kent leaves the Sunbeam Kindergarten after it closed at noon due to the flooding in St Albans.
Island Sanctuary
OHOKA: Island Sanctuary.
Warrington St floods
WARRINGTON ST: Rain is still falling across the city causing traffic problems.
Cyclist on flooded intersection
UNDETERRED: A cyclist bikes through the flooded intersection of Warrington and Barbados Streets.
Gordon Shapiro, 4, of Waltham
OVER THE BANKS: Gordon Shapiro, 4, of Waltham, beside the Heathcote River in Beckenham. Bernard Shapiro says the water was ''sidewalk to sidewalk'.
Beth, Roisin, Triny and Anna
KAYAKERS: Beth, Roisin, Triny and Anna of Francis Ave at their "after school activity" courtesy of the big rain.
Mist rising in Hagley Park
NEW DAWN: The mist in Hagley Park has cleared to reveal a bright day after a two-day deluge.
Lambs in Mandeville
EARLY ARRIVALS: These Mandeville lambs will be unaware of the coming snow.
Warrington Liquor Centre manager Harbaldeep Singh
THE CLEAN-UP: Warrington Liquor Centre manager Harbaldeep Singh clears sandbags after yesterday's downpour.

Dunedin was cut off to the north this afternoon as Otago rivers breached their banks and flowed across State Highway 1.

Have you been affected by the weather? Send your newstips, photos and video to newstips@stuff.co.nz

And when Otago finally sees off the rain, its residents can expect a polar blast that one forecaster said could see their northern neighbours in Canterbury experiencing the worst snowfall in 20 years.

Mairehau flooding
Flooding outside Rummy Strong's flat in Mairehau, Christchurch
Mairehau flooding
Flooding in Thornton St, Mairehau.
Christchurch flooding
TVNZ reporter Holly Carran posted this photo of Cashmere on Twitter.
St Albans flooding
Flooding in Mairehau.
Flooded pasture in north Canterbury
Pastures disappearing under floodwaters in North Canterbury.
Christchurch flooding
A stranded motorist helps the Motueka Volunteer Fire Brigade clear a slip.
Christchurch flooding
A woman was killed when this massive slip hit her house in Sandy Bay.
Christchurch flooding
Neighbours Christine Handley and Sam Dillon speak to each other across a slip between their properties in Nelson.
Christchurch flooding
Sam Dillon's tool shed that was wiped out by a slip.
Christchurch flooding
Casebrook, Christchurch.
Christchurch flooding
Flooding outside Andrea Smith's Sydenham house this morning.
Christchurch flooding
Charles Fox says his Christchurch backyard has been turned into a lake.
Christchurch flooding
Spotted in Carrick St in Christchurch's Mairehau.
studholme flooding
Flooding covers half the road near Studholme.
studholme flooding
Makerikeri Bridge washout, near Loburn, Canterbury.
studholme flooding
This is the Tokomairiro River, Milton, South Otago.
studholme flooding
"We took a walk to see if the Ashburton River had risen much. It had!"
studholme flooding
Flooding in Shirley, Christchurch
studholme flooding
The Heathcote River has busted its banks around the Cashmere area of Christchurch.
studholme flooding
A massive slip blocking a road near Portobello on the Otago peninsula.
studholme flooding
Showing the rise in flood levels in just over two hours in Mairehau, Christchurch
studholme flooding
The Forks Bridge over Waihao River near Waimate.
studholme flooding
Flooding in my backyard, redwood, Christchurch
Waitaki Valley flooding
Water runs off a hill at a station in the Waitaki Valley, South Canterbury, cutting it off.
Flooding in Kaiapoi
Flooding in Kaiapoi.
Beckenham Ponds join Heathcote River
Flooding causes Beckenham Ponds join Heathcote River.
Flooding at Danseys Pass.
Flooding at Danseys Pass.
Gordon Shapiro, 4, of Waltham
OVER THE BANKS: Gordon Shapiro, 4, of Waltham, beside the Heathcote River in Beckenham. Bernard Shapiro says the water was ''sidewalk to sidewalk'.

New Zealand Transport Agency Otago Southland highway operations manager Roger Bailey said flooding on several parts of State Highway 1 between Dunedin and the Waitaki River bridge in North Otago would halt motorists.

"There are a number of closures because of surface flooding and people can't get through to Christchurch." he said.

The route south out of Dunedin remained open, but motorists had to travel with extreme caution, especially between Milton and Clarksville Junction where flood waters were across the road.

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fLOODING
AWASH: Flooding in Thornton St, Mairehau, Christchurch.

Bailey said he understood rivers had now peaked with the hope some flooding would recede, but that depended on how long the rain continued and the intensity of it.

In north Otago, with SH1 was closed in three areas around Maheno, Kakanui and Oamaru and State Highway 87 was closed at Hyde and Kyeburn.

A detour off the main highway around SH83 north of Oamaru had been abandoned because of flood damage.

Map
Markers indicate hazards on Otago and Canterbury state highways.

In Christchurch, flooding has closed two schools and several roads.

Christ The King School in Greers Rd, Burnside, closed because of "severe flooding" on the primary school's grounds overnight, making access to the school toilets difficult. Rangiora High School was closed at 11am due to surface flooding.

In north Canterbury, Ashley School and Sefton School, closed early because of the flooding.

Civil Defence has opened a welfare centre at Mairehau Primary School for those affected by the area's flooding.

The Christchurch City Council said there was surface flooding in Beckenham, New Brighton, St Albans, Northwood, Burnside and Sumner. One northbound lane on the Fitzgerald Ave bridge, north of Kilmore St, was flooded.

Spokesman John Mackie warned motorists to take care because surface flooding could conceal potholes.

A Fire Service spokesman said firefighters had attended 49 weather-related incidents in the South Island between 6.20am and 10.30am today, including 35 in Canterbury.

Meanwhile, weather forecasters are warning that after the rain stops, South Islanders especially should brace themselves for snow.

MetService spokesman Dan Corbett said today that after the present flow from the sub-tropics stopped, it would be replaced by one coming from the Antarctic, through Wednesday and Thursday.

"Places across the south of the South Island will probably see snow to low levels," he said.

It was too early to predict where snow would fall, but it was not out of the question for Christchurch on Thursday and Friday. Some snow could also fall on the Rimutaka hill north of Wellington.

"Everyone is going to feel the cold," he said.

The MetService website was down for maintenance today limiting access to information about the weather.

In Auckland the expected maximum for Friday was just 10 degrees Celsius.

Blue Skies weather forecaster Tony Trewinnard said up to 20 centimetres of snow could fall to sea level in Canterbury on Thursday and Friday, with up to 40cm above 200 metres and up to 60cm above 400m.

He said this would be the biggest snowfall for the region in 20 years.

"To have it potentially last two days is quite unusual (for Christchurch) and could potentially become quite hazardous," he said.

LIGHTNING SHOCK FOR PASSENGERS

Flights in and out of Christchurch and Dunedin do not appear to be delayed by the weather, but 160 passengers flying from Christchurch to Auckland were given a fright when their plane was struck by lightning.

Christchurch East MP Lianne Dalziel was on the Air New Zealand flight when she heard a ''bang and a flash''.

The plane was travelling through cloud when the lightning struck and the pilot spoke to passengers a few minutes later to let them know what had happened.

Dalziel said she had never been in a plane when it was hit by lightning before and was surprised by the noise it made.

''It wasn't terribly loud, although it woke up my fellow passenger. In all the time I've been flying it hadn't happened before I'm glad that's all it was.''

An Air New Zealand spokeswoman confirmed flight 504 from Christchurch to Auckland was hit by lightning on its approach to Auckland this morning.

There had been 163 passengers on board.

The aircraft would now be inspected by engineers before being cleared to return to service, the spokeswoman said.

Blue Skies' Trewinnard said up to 20cm of snow could fall to sea level in Canterbury on Thursday and Friday, with up to 40cm above 200 metres and up to 60cm above 400m. He said this would be the biggest snowfall for the region in 20 years.

''To have it potentially last two days is quite unusual (for Christchurch) and could potentially become quite hazardous.''

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