Big snow set to follow the rain

THE CLEAN-UP: Warrington Liquor Centre manager Harbaldeep Singh clears sandbags after yesterday's downpour.
1 of 34Joseph Johnson
THE CLEAN-UP: Warrington Liquor Centre manager Harbaldeep Singh clears sandbags after yesterday's downpour.
OVER THE BANKS: Gordon Shapiro, 4, of Waltham, beside the Heathcote River in Beckenham. Bernard Shapiro says the water was ''sidewalk to sidewalk'.
2 of 34Bernard Shapiro
OVER THE BANKS: Gordon Shapiro, 4, of Waltham, beside the Heathcote River in Beckenham. Bernard Shapiro says the water was ''sidewalk to sidewalk'.
EARLY ARRIVALS: These Mandeville lambs will be unaware of the coming snow.
3 of 34Don Scott
EARLY ARRIVALS: These Mandeville lambs will be unaware of the coming snow.
NEW DAWN: The mist in Hagley Park has cleared to reveal a bright day after a two-day deluge.
4 of 34Kirk Hargreaves
NEW DAWN: The mist in Hagley Park has cleared to reveal a bright day after a two-day deluge.
KAYAKERS: Beth, Roisin, Triny and Anna of Francis Ave at their "after school activity" courtesy of the big rain.
5 of 34Monika Zaruski
KAYAKERS: Beth, Roisin, Triny and Anna of Francis Ave at their "after school activity" courtesy of the big rain.
UNDETERRED: A cyclist bikes through the flooded intersection of Warrington and Barbados Streets.
6 of 34Stacy Squires
UNDETERRED: A cyclist bikes through the flooded intersection of Warrington and Barbados Streets.
WARRINGTON ST: Rain is still falling across the city causing traffic problems.
7 of 34Stacy Squires
WARRINGTON ST: Rain is still falling across the city causing traffic problems.
OHOKA: Island Sanctuary.
8 of 34Don Scott
OHOKA: Island Sanctuary.
WET FEET: Dusana Kent leaves the Sunbeam Kindergarten after it closed at noon due to the flooding in St Albans.
9 of 34Joseph Johnson
WET FEET: Dusana Kent leaves the Sunbeam Kindergarten after it closed at noon due to the flooding in St Albans.
MAIREHAU: Trevor Crow wades through a flooded Flockton St.
10 of 34Iain McGregor
MAIREHAU: Trevor Crow wades through a flooded Flockton St.
FINE WEATHER FOR FEATHERS: The ducks may be the only happy ones in Mairehau's Thornton St.
11 of 34Iain McGregor
FINE WEATHER FOR FEATHERS: The ducks may be the only happy ones in Mairehau's Thornton St.
WADING THROUGH: A customer makes his way back to his car outside the Warrington Discount Dairy.
12 of 34JOSEPH JOHNSON/Fairfax NZ
WADING THROUGH: A customer makes his way back to his car outside the Warrington Discount Dairy.
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.
13 of 34JOSEPH JOHNSON/Fairfax NZ
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.
COVERED: The Silverstream subdivision in Giles Rd is flooded.
14 of 34DON SCOTT/Fairfax NZ
COVERED: The Silverstream subdivision in Giles Rd is flooded.
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.
15 of 34Dean Kozanic
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.
NEW TRANSPORT: Residents float down Carrick St, Mairehau.
16 of 34Lesley Fleming
NEW TRANSPORT: Residents float down Carrick St, Mairehau.
WET MONDAY: Drivers carefully navigate a flooded Edgeware Rd.
17 of 34Jeanette Francis
WET MONDAY: Drivers carefully navigate a flooded Edgeware Rd.
Charles Fox says his Christchurch backyard has been turned into a lake.
18 of 34Charles Fox
Charles Fox says his Christchurch backyard has been turned into a lake.
DRENCHED: Loburn has not escaped the wet weather.
19 of 34Richard Connelly
DRENCHED: Loburn has not escaped the wet weather.
MUDDY WATERS: Flooding in Loburn.
20 of 34Richard Connelly
MUDDY WATERS: Flooding in Loburn.
STRANDED: This home at the northern end of Threckelds Rd, Ohoka, is surrounded by water.
21 of 34Don Scott
STRANDED: This home at the northern end of Threckelds Rd, Ohoka, is surrounded by water.
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.
22 of 34Don Scott
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.
ST ALBANS: Floodwaters have swamped Francis Ave.
23 of 34Kirk Hargreaves
ST ALBANS: Floodwaters have swamped Francis Ave.
ST MARTINS: Riverlaw Tce has burst its banks overnight.
24 of 34Daniel Tobin
ST MARTINS: Riverlaw Tce has burst its banks overnight.
NOT HAPPY: Anton Bailey struggles under rising waters in St Martins.
25 of 34Daniel Tobin
NOT HAPPY: Anton Bailey struggles under rising waters in St Martins.
BIG PUDDLES: Flooding in Weston Rd, off Cranford St.
26 of 34KIRK HARGREAVES/Fairfax NZ
BIG PUDDLES: Flooding in Weston Rd, off Cranford St.
OUT OF ACTION: Christ the King School in Burnside has been closed because of "severe flooding".
27 of 34KIRK HARGREAVES/Fairfax NZ
OUT OF ACTION: Christ the King School in Burnside has been closed because of "severe flooding".
MAKING A SPLASH: Avonside Drive is flooded this morning.
28 of 34Sam
MAKING A SPLASH: Avonside Drive is flooded this morning.
OVERFLOWING: The Heathcote River in Cashmere overflowing its banks.
29 of 34Martin van Beynen
OVERFLOWING: The Heathcote River in Cashmere overflowing its banks.
WET LANDS: Flooding at Teddington straight, Banks Peninsula.
30 of 34Martin van Beynen
WET LANDS: Flooding at Teddington straight, Banks Peninsula.
RISING WATER: Flooding in Thornton St, Mairehau.
31 of 34Rummy Strong
RISING WATER: Flooding in Thornton St, Mairehau.
SOAKED: Flooding outside Rummy Strong's flat in Thornton St, Mairehau.
32 of 34Rummy Strong
SOAKED: Flooding outside Rummy Strong's flat in Thornton St, Mairehau.
WET START TO WEEK: Flooding in Francis Ave, Mairehau.
33 of 34Monique Devereux
WET START TO WEEK: Flooding in Francis Ave, Mairehau.
UNDER WATER: Pastures disappearing under floodwaters in North Canterbury.
34 of 34Richard Cosgrove
UNDER WATER: Pastures disappearing under floodwaters in North Canterbury.

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

OVER THE BANKS: Gordon Shapiro, 4, of Waltham, beside the Heathcote River in Beckenham. Bernard Shapiro says the water was ''sidewalk to sidewalk'.
1 of 27Bernard Shapiro
OVER THE BANKS: Gordon Shapiro, 4, of Waltham, beside the Heathcote River in Beckenham. Bernard Shapiro says the water was ''sidewalk to sidewalk'.
Flooding at Danseys Pass.
2 of 27
Flooding at Danseys Pass.
Flooding causes Beckenham Ponds join Heathcote River.
3 of 27
Flooding causes Beckenham Ponds join Heathcote River.
Flooding in Kaiapoi.
4 of 27
Flooding in Kaiapoi.
The Forks Bridge over Waihao River near Waimate.
5 of 27Jock Innes
The Forks Bridge over Waihao River near Waimate.
Flooding in my backyard, redwood, Christchurch
6 of 27Mel Rushton
Flooding in my backyard, redwood, Christchurch
A massive slip blocking a road near Portobello on the Otago peninsula.
7 of 27
A massive slip blocking a road near Portobello on the Otago peninsula.
Showing the rise in flood levels in just over two hours in Mairehau, Christchurch
8 of 27Supplied
Showing the rise in flood levels in just over two hours in Mairehau, Christchurch
Flooding in Shirley, Christchurch
9 of 27Helen Jacka
Flooding in Shirley, Christchurch
The Heathcote River has busted its banks around the Cashmere area of Christchurch.
10 of 27Michael Heron
The Heathcote River has busted its banks around the Cashmere area of Christchurch.
"We took a walk to see if the Ashburton River had risen much. It had!"
11 of 27Lydia Garner
"We took a walk to see if the Ashburton River had risen much. It had!"
This is the Tokomairiro River, Milton, South Otago.
12 of 27Renee Wallace
This is the Tokomairiro River, Milton, South Otago.
Makerikeri Bridge washout, near Loburn, Canterbury.
13 of 27Richard Connelly
Makerikeri Bridge washout, near Loburn, Canterbury.
Spotted in Carrick St in Christchurch's Mairehau.
14 of 27Lesley Fleming
Spotted in Carrick St in Christchurch's Mairehau.
 Flooding covers half the road near Studholme.
15 of 27Lee Williamson
Flooding covers half the road near Studholme.
Charles Fox says his Christchurch backyard has been turned into a lake.
16 of 27Charles Fox
Charles Fox says his Christchurch backyard has been turned into a lake.
Flooding in Thornton St, Mairehau.
17 of 27Rummy Strong
Flooding in Thornton St, Mairehau.
Flooding outside Andrea Smith's Sydenham house this morning.
18 of 27Andrea Smith
Flooding outside Andrea Smith's Sydenham house this morning.
Casebrook, Christchurch.
19 of 27Paula King
Casebrook, Christchurch.
A stranded motorist helps the Motueka Volunteer Fire Brigade clear a slip.
20 of 27ALISTAI PAULIN/Fairfax NZ
A stranded motorist helps the Motueka Volunteer Fire Brigade clear a slip.
Flooding in Mairehau.
21 of 27Monique Devereux
Flooding in Mairehau.
 Pastures disappearing under floodwaters in North Canterbury.
22 of 27Richard Cosgrove
Pastures disappearing under floodwaters in North Canterbury.
Flooding outside Rummy Strong's flat in Mairehau, Christchurch
23 of 27Rummy Strong
Flooding outside Rummy Strong's flat in Mairehau, Christchurch
 TVNZ reporter Holly Carran posted this photo of Cashmere on Twitter.
24 of 27Holly Carran
TVNZ reporter Holly Carran posted this photo of Cashmere on Twitter.
Sam Dillon's tool shed that was wiped out by a slip.
25 of 27MARION VAN DIJK/Fairfax NZ
Sam Dillon's tool shed that was wiped out by a slip.
Neighbours Christine Handley and Sam Dillon speak to each other across a slip between their properties in Nelson.
26 of 27MARION VAN DIJK/Fairfax NZ
Neighbours Christine Handley and Sam Dillon speak to each other across a slip between their properties in Nelson.
A woman was killed when this massive slip hit her house in Sandy Bay.
27 of 27PATRICK HAMILTON/Fairfax NZ
A woman was killed when this massive slip hit her house in Sandy Bay.

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.

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.

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

"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.

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.

Markers indicate hazards on Otago and Canterbury state highways.
NZTA/ Google Maps
Markers indicate hazards on Otago and Canterbury state highways.

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.

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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