Snow closes South Island highways
Snow has closed highways in many parts of the South Island as an icy winter storm takes a grip on the country.
The NZ Transport Agency said the Lewis Pass, Porters Pass, Lindis Pass, and Burkes Pass were closed due to snow.
Other highways closed included State Highway 85 from Omakau to Palmerston, SH87 from Keyburn to Outram, SH80 from Glentanner to Mt Cook, and SH6 and 97 from Kingston to Lumsden and Five Rivers to Mossburn.
Up to 150 centimetres of snow is expected to fall over Porters Pass by Saturday afternoon, including up to 90cm between 6am today and midnight.
Snow falling over the Arthur's Pass today is expected to continue through to Saturday morning, with up to 50cm expected to fall in total, including up to 25cm between 6am today and midnight.
On the Lewis Pass, snow is expected to continue falling through to Saturday morning. Up to 80cm is likely to accumulate about the road, including up to 50cm from 6am today to midnight.
A few snow showers are possible around the Milford Road tunnel this morning, and up to 4cm could accumulate south of Lake Gunn today.
Snow is expected to fall on the Lindis Pass until this evening, with about 8cm of snow expected altogether.
STATE HIGHWAYS CLOSED:
SH7 - Lewis Pass (Hanmer Springs turnoff to Springs Junction)
SH73 - Porters Pass (Springfield to Arthurs Pass)
SH8 - Lindis Pass
SH8 - Burkes Pass (Twizel to Fairlie)
SH80 - Glentanner to Mt Cook
SH85 - Omakau to Palmerston
SH6, SH97 - Kingston to Lumsden and Five Rivers to Mossburn
SH87 - Kyeburn to Outram