Cantabrians awake to frosty blast

22:53, Aug 12 2014

Cantabrians awoke to a thick coating of frost this morning as the mercury dipped to a chilly -2.8 degrees Celsius.

According to the MetService, it feels more like -5C, as Christchurch prepares for a fine day of 11C before a southerly change brings showers from this afternoon.

"The weather looks to be a bit unsettled this week, but it looks like we will be in for a good weekend," MetService duty forecaster Melissa Roux said.

Fellow forecaster Hannah Moes said although freezing levels were still low over the country, showers were falling as snow on high parts.

"We're stuck in this disturbed southwesterly flow so as various fronts push up over the country we're getting colder air each time and snow with each front."

This morning another cold front pushing up over the South Island would bring rain to the West Coast, with snow to 300 metres and scattered falls to the east with snow to 200m.

The New Zealand Transport Agency has advised motorists that Arthur's Pass will be closed to towing vehicles, while other vehicles will need chains as snow blankets the area.

The road from Te Anau to Milford Sound is closed as contractors clear snow and avalanche prevention work is done. 

The Lindis and Lewis passes are open.

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