Warm weather ruins skifield operations
Unseasonable weather has left South Canterbury ski operators short of snow.
Mt Dobson and Roundhill were closed over the weekend because of rain and warm north-westerlies, while Fox Peak is yet to open.
Mt Dobson owner Peter Foote said the field had taken a battering with warm weather and rain.
"Nature hasn't been so kind to us this year."
He said weather conditions were very unusual.
"To have a freezing level to 2700 metres is very unusual; it's normally at around 1200 metres at this time of year."
Roundhill manager Simon Murrell said two days of north-westerly weather had left them struggling.
"We could do with a little more snow, it is a struggle at the moment but we've got snow-making machines. Everyone has been a bit hammered. We're at the lap of the gods at the moment."
Fox Peak president Grant Keeley said the season had been disastrous.
"We've never rolled a rope around; never pushed a button.
"We had two good snows in June but a strong southwesterly came and stripped it.
"If this is it, it's a disaster."
Ohau Snowfield, further inland from the others, reported good conditions. Manager Mike Neilson said it had been a great start to the season with the school holidays.
"We've only had one day closed."
Unseasonable weather conditions are forecast to change in the coming days.
A large high pressure system is expected to move over New Zealand today and bring settled weather to most places for the rest of the week.
MetService meteorologist Daniel Corbett said the winter high would be similar to others at this time of year, in that there could be some cloud at times in the high along with some fine, blue-sky days.
- © Fairfax NZ News