Severe weather watch lifted for SI

01:38, Jul 03 2014
Kowai Bush
WINTRY SCENE: Snow in Kowai Bush, about 450m and near Springfield, this morning.
Snow in Springfield
EXTRA DUSTING: Flurries fall on a giant doughnut in Springfield, Canterbury.
Snow in Te Anau
WINTER WONDERLAND: The white stuff was falling thick and fast in Te Anau's village green at 7am this morning.
Snow in Te Anau, Sandfly Cafe
TIME FOR A HOT DRINK: Te Anau's Sandfly Cafe looked like an inviting rest-stop at 7.30am this morning.
Snow in Kowai Bush
HEAVY SETTLING: A white landscape greeted Brooke Westerman at her Kowai Bush home this morning.
Snow in Oxford
UNSURE: Hokey the dog doesn't look sold on the white stuff at his home in Oxford, Canterbury.
Snow in Culverden
NOT A GREAT DAY FOR IT: Workers get stuck in a flurry in Culverden, North Canterbury, about 200m above sea level.
Snowy daffodils on Depot Rd
SEASONALLY CONFUSED: Daffodils weary with snowfall on Depot Rd, between Oxford and Sheffield, this morning.
Snow in Mossburn
FALLING THICK AND FAST: Snowfall piles up in Mossburn.
Snow in Te Anau
NO TEE-OFF TODAY: Te Anau golf course, pictured from an overlooking home, is blanketed in thick snow.
southland snow
Dairy cows wait for food beside State Highway 94 as the snow continues.
southland snow
Sergeant Tod Hollebon speaks about the situation on State Highway 94 to Downers' Hamish Angus.
southland snow
Kevin O'Sullivan of Downers is forced to fit chains to his snow sweeper on State Highway 94 as ice forms.
southland snow
A grader clears snow on State Highway 94.
southland snow
Snow covered sheep near Gorge Hill on State Highway 94 bear the snow as the snow dump continues.
southland snow
No school today for some pupils.
Snow around Lake Coleridge
WHITE BACKDROP: The 100-year-old Lake Coleridge Power Station looks even more dramatic in a snowy landscape.
oxford snow
Snow lies on the ground in Oxford, North Canterbury.
oxford snow
Carol Herrett caught this view from Te Anau.

Motorists should take "extreme care" after a cold snap made South Island roads treacherous.

Areas of inland and North Canterbury were the worst hit by yesterday's southerly, which left a blanket of white over the plains.

However it might be safe to venture outside this afternoon as the final snow and hail showers clear to lead into a fine start to the weekend.

A severe weather watch has been lifted for heavy snow accumulating above 400 metres over southern Fiordland, Southland, Otago and Banks Peninsula, MetService said.

The south's skifields celebrated the dusting after a bad start to the season.

The NZ Transport Agency advised motorists to be wary of icy roads today. Journey manager Lee Wright said snow had fallen on State Highway 73 from Springfield to Otira and throughout parts of North Canterbury.

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Snow also fell on State Highway 7 through the Lewis Pass.

Chains were essential and motorists were advised to take "extreme care" in the coming days.

The wintry blast was more severe further south, with road closures and schools shut for the day in Otago, Southland and Fiordland.

MetService meteorologist John Law said Canterbury could expect clear skies from today, but people should wrap up for some bitterly cold nights. "As we head through the next couple of days, we're going to find ourselves stuck in that southwesterly feed of air.

"So for the likes of Canterbury it's actually not looking too wet, which is good news.

"It means there's not much more snow to come, but we are still going to find it very cold," Law said. Temperatures were expected to drop to minus 3 degrees last night and would drop to -1 degree tonight.

Mt Hutt operations general manager James Urquhart said the skifield had about 19 centimetres of snowfall yesterday.

"I'm stoked. The mountain's just reformed and reshaped.

It's a get-out-of-jail free card."

Porters marketing manager Guy Nurse said the ski area received 10cm of snow by early yesterday, and it had continued to fall all day.

However, the field's opening day was still unknown - as it would depend on how well the latest snowfall had covered the mountain.

The Press