South Canterbury expected to bear brunt of second storm

Traffic crawls through the Lindis Pass on State Highway 8 as roading contractors work to move snow off the road on Monday.
MARIE ENGLISH/SUPPLIED

Traffic crawls through the Lindis Pass on State Highway 8 as roading contractors work to move snow off the road on Monday.

South Canterbury is expected to bear the brunt of another storm which is expected to hit the country later in the week. 

Heavy rain, gales, floods, and up to half a metre of snow in the high country was expected to hit on Thursday. 

Forecaster Blue Skies said Mid and South Canterbury were expected to bear the brunt of the storm, with up to 100 millimetres of rain and more in the hill country and snow above 500m.

The Lindis Pass was closed to towing vehicles on Monday and chains were essential for all other vehicles.
MARIE ENGLISH/SUPPLIED

The Lindis Pass was closed to towing vehicles on Monday and chains were essential for all other vehicles.

Farmers were warned 20 to 30 centimetres of snow could accumulate above 500m on Friday, possibly more in Mid and South Canterbury. Altitudes above 700m could receive up to 50cm of snow.

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MetService meteorologist Angus Hines said he also expected the looming front to bring more snow to both South Canterbury and North Otago, but the regions could expect some respite from the weather before the end of the week.

"In fact tomorrow [Tuesday] looks to be a bit of a cracker", clear and sunny with a high of 10 degrees Celsius, Hines said. 

The front was going to "pack in towards the weekend", he said. 

The front would be "quite different" to last week, as it would see northerly winds instead of cold southerlies, and was definitely "something to keep an eye on", he said. 

On Monday, Timaru accumulated 9mm of rain, with between 5 and 12mm falling across other parts of South Canterbury.

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Police have issued a warning to motorists to take care when travelling ahead of the upcoming storm.

Constable Joe Rush, of Twizel, urged motorists to check road warnings to ensure roads were open and advised people to carry chains and allow extra time to complete each journey. 

Constable Brad Morton, of Tekapo, said he expected snow and ice on roads around the township by Tuesday morning.

He urged motorists to drive to the conditions and to fit all vehicles with chains if necessary. 

Some motorists faced disruptions on the Lindis Pass on Monday after snowfall saw the road closed to towing vehicles.

NZ Transport Agency issued warnings for State Highway 8 between Omarama and Tarras and Fairlie and Twizel due to snow and ice, and for SH80 from Ben Ohau to Aoraki/Mt Cook due to snow.

The warnings were updated on Monday afternoon and remain in place until further notice.

 - Stuff

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