Cold turns SC roads to 'ice skating rinks'

Last night's rain and freezing temperatures have turned some South Canterbury roads to ice this morning.

A four-wheel-drive with a trailer crashed at 6.37am, blocking State Highway 1 for more than an hour at the Rangitata Bridge.

Meanwhile the Herald understands a Timaru man is being treated for a broken hip after he came off his bike on Church St this morning.

MetService said the combination of wet patches and cold temperatures would cause ice and has warned motorists to take care on the roads.

The temperature reached minus three degrees Celsius at the airport overnight.

Some Timaru Herald Facebook users say the roads and footpaths are "like sheets of ice".

Donna McPherson said: "Dog walk just now was pretty scary. Watch the footpaths people - they are like skating rinks."

Geraldine and Temuka residents are also reporting slippery conditions.


Southern inland Canterbury can expect snowfall, while Christchurch should brace itself for heavy showers today.

The Metservice has issued a severe weather warning for the region as a southeast flow is expected to bring snow to the Canterbury foothills and North Otago today and tomorrow, likely to be heavy at times with snow lowering to 200 metres in some places. Above 500m, 20 centimetres of snow or more could accumulate during the same period, while snow flurries are possible down to 100 metres on the plains.

"This snow has the potential to cause significant disruption, especially to people travelling through the region. Cold conditions may also cause stress in stock and other animals," the warning said.

Metservice forecaster Andy Downs said initially the heaviest snowfalls were likely between Oxford and Geraldine, but the latest update indicated it was likely to fall further south. He said it may create hazardous driving conditions in some inland areas such as Arthurs Pass, Lewis Pass and Porters Pass.

About coastal Canterbury from the Rakaia River to Rangiora, rain is expected during today which could be moderate to heavy at times in Christchurch and on Banks Peninsula.

He said areas of Christchurch prone to flooding should remain vigilant with 20 to 30 millimetres expected to fall today and early tomorrow, although the he did not expect it to cause major issues.

With an expected high of around 6 degrees Celsius today, the Metservice is forecasting a miserable weekend for Christchurch which will carry through until Wednesday.

The Timaru Herald