South wakes to cold snap
Snow falling to about 200m in placesCOLLETTE DEVLIN
Southlanders woke up needing their winter woollies this morning, and temperatures are set to remain low for the rest of the day.
Snow is falling to about 200 metres in Fiordland and Southland. It is expected to spread into Otago later this morning.
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While snow has bypassed the Mackenzie basin in South Canterbury, it is falling above 300m about the Canterbury foothills and Banks Peninsula.
State Highway 6 is now open from Five Rivers to Lumsden and eastbound from Te Anau to Mossburn.
A car flipped on its roof at Te Anau but no one was injured.
There are now vehicle restrictions on the road from Lumsden to Athol. Ice on the road means it is now closed to towing vehicles.
A MetService warning says snow is likely to affect roads and passes in these areas, and cause disruption to travellers.
Black ice is affecting the road from Te Anau to the Lower Hollyford turnoff, with snow closing the road from the turnoff. Conditions were expected to improve this afternoon, when the road was likely to re-open but with restrictions.
A weather warning says snow showers would affect the Milford road today - mainly south of Lake Gunn. About 5 to 10cm of snow was possible above 400m south of Lake Gunn, with lesser amounts lower down. Snow may turn to rain below 300m for a time this afternoon.
About 1 to 3cm of snow was likely near the Homer Tunnel, falling between 11am and 4pm.
Snow showers are also expected to affect the Lindis Pass around midday. Between 11am and 5pm, about 1 to 3cm of snow fall was expected above 500m.
MetService meteorologist John Law said the winter day would be a real struggle for some in the south, with cold south westerlies, sleety showers and hail.
The top temperature in Te Anau today would be 3 degrees Celsius and snow to low levels in Southland would ease this evening.
Invercargill started the day on 1C and the temperature would probably not get much higher than 7C, he said.
Showers would continue for most of the day around the coastal areas of Southland.
Meanwhile snow has started falling in Gore.
Snow in Te Anau has kept many indoors.
Te Anau Sand Fly cafe owner Carolyn Fox said the snow started about 6.30am and has continued with heavy falls.
However, frost underneath had made the roads slippery. The town was quiet because there were not many cars on the roads and all the schools were closed, she said.
- The Southland Times
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