Monday, January 23, 2012

Antarctic blast sweeps up South Island

South Island, Newzealand
South Island
A surprise snowfall has turned summer to winter in the south, with falls reportedly setting on Porter's Pass this afternoon.

An Antarctic blast is sweeping up the country, dropping temperatures to single digits and bringing chilly wind, hail and rain.

Weather Watch's Andy Thompson reported snow falling in Porter's Pass between Christchurch and the West Coast as he travelled through this afternoon, and a temperature of three degrees Celsius.

"It's absolutely freezing. It was coming through fairly thick. There was no way I was getting out of the car I was only wearing shorts," Thompson said.

"It's insane. You don't expect to be driving through falling snow in the middle of January."

Thompson said as he drove through Springfield, the temperature rose to 6 degrees, then to 18 degrees as he hit Hokitika.

Weather Watch reported similar temperatures in Gore, where it dropped to 8 degrees, Invercargill (9) and Dunedin (11).

Met Service said the front would clear the North Island this evening.

Hawke's Bay, Wairarapa and Wellington could expect cold southerlies and showers spreading north this afternoon, with possible thunderstorms and hail in Wairarapa.

Nelson, Buller and Westland would have heavy showers, while the remainder of the South Island had cold southwesterlies, showers, and thunder.

The remainder of the South Island would see cold southwesterlies and showers, some heavy and possibly thundery with hail, especially in North Canterbury and Marlborough this afternoon.

Showers easing tonight, then clearing tomorrow leaving cloudy areas.

Most of the country was expected to be clear tomorrow.

News by Stuff

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