Unexpected snow storm welcomed ahead of season start for Canterbury fields

A snow groomer pushes new snow up Fascination trail at Mt Hutt after snow fall over the weekend.
James McKenzie

A snow groomer pushes new snow up Fascination trail at Mt Hutt after snow fall over the weekend.

Canterbury ski fields are celebrating after about 50cm of snowfall in 48 hours. 

On Friday night a north-easterly snowstorm delivered 30 to 40cm of snow to Mt Hutt's initial base layer.

Another 15cm fell overnight Saturday. MetService forecasts a snowstorm on Tuesday with snow down to 600m, and snow flurries and colder temperatures through the week. 

Mt Hutt on Sunday after snowfall.

Mt Hutt on Sunday after snowfall.

Mt Hutt is due to open on June 10. Ski area manager James McKenzie said the conditions were already perfect. 

"This timing of the new snow couldn't have been better as most of our seasonal staff are arriving in Methven for sign-up and training this Thursday," McKenzie said.

Porters Ski Area is scheduled to open on June 22. 

General manager Uli Dinsenbacher said the field received 30cm to 40cm on the upper mountain and 20cm to 30cm in the car park. 

"It looks amazing. There's more snow now than the whole of last year."

Dinsenbacher said the snowfall was a relief, after unusually mild temperatures throughout May.

Staff were expected to arrive for training from June 15. 

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Otago ski fields received less snowfall over the weekend, but still benefited from cooler conditions. 

Remarkables ski field reported 15cm of snow fall on Sunday ahead of its opening day on June 18.

Coronet Peak reported 10cm of snowfall on Saturday ahead of its opening day, June 11.

MetService expected snow flurries down to 800m on both fields on Monday.

Canterbury club fields are expected to open in July.

Temperatures in Christchurch were expected to drop to 3 degrees Celsius overnight Sunday. The mercury would drop as low as 1 degree in Timaru. 

Road snowfall was possible on Arthur's, Porters and Lindis passes. 

MetService meteorologist Chelsea Glue said frosts were possible for the start of the working week. 



 - Stuff

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