This winter has been:
Twizel's plumbers and firewood merchants are advising holidaymakers to be prepared, as the town experiences a surprisingly long cold snap.
Figures for nearby Pukaki Aerodrome show that on only one day last month – June 9 – did the minimum temperature rise above negative territory, reaching 0.7 degrees Celsius. The lowest temperature last month was -11.5C on June 7.
Twizel plumber Mark Duncan said business had been steady, but he expected things to pick up in the next week, with more calls coming in.
"There are several new holiday home owners in the region, and they might not know how to best look after their plumbing in times of cold weather," he said.
"You see it all the time. The inside of the house might be warm, but the parts where the plumbing is located might not be and that can cause them to burst when they thaw."
By late afternoon yesterday, the temperature at Pukaki Airfield had reached only -2.4C.
Mr Duncan said it was the coldest winter for several years. He had received about 20 more calls than usual over the last week.
Meanwhile, local firewood supplier Peter Hands advised holidaymakers to bring their own firewood if they hadn't already got supplies.
Twizel resident Kevin Moore said most locals were used to cold snaps, but it was the fog that was starting to get to people.
"That's what really gets people down, it's been awful today.
"Otherwise, it has been lovely; the frosts have been quite spectacular," Mr Moore said.
Meanwhile, at Aoraki-Mt Cook National Park, the temperatures had dropped below zero nearly every day over the past fortnight, getting down to a low of -7.7 degrees Celsius on June 25, but on June 21 a balmy 16.5C was recorded.
MetService forecaster John Law said the recent cold weather, particularly in South Canterbury, was due to a high-pressure front hanging over the South Island.
"That has led to clear and mostly sunny days, but it also means the temperature drops away at night quite quickly."
Mr Law said he expected the next few days to be similarly cold, but temperatures might get warmer later in the week, as the high pressure front moves away.
"Twizel might get a bit of a reprieve, if they're lucky," he said.
- © Fairfax NZ News