Rare Spring Snow Shuts Down Roads in New Zealand

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The Otago Daily News reports New Zealanders experienced unexpected weather going into the third week of spring: below zero temperatures, freezing rain, and snow. The winter like weather resulted several roads across different towns being closed because they were hazardous to travel on.

First October snow fall in Christchurch for 53 years, was the October 6 headline in the Otago Daily News.

“Christchurch has experienced its first October snowfall in more than 50 years as a polar blast sweeps through New Zealand, causing freezing springtime temperatures,” reports the Otago Daily News. “The polar blast is causing unseasonal, single-digit temperatures across the South Island and into the North Island today, including Auckland where the temperature in some parts of the city was just 9C at 7am. The coldest place in the country early this morning was Te Ānau, where it was a bone-chilling -5.1C.”

The widespread spring freeze resulted in a number of roads in and around Dunedin and Wellington being closed due to snow and ice. The Desert Rd in the central North Island was one of a number of state highways and other roads closed due to hazardous, winter like, conditions.

Shane Neal, a Christchurch resident in Edgeware, told the Otago Daily News it was only his second time experiencing snow since moving from the North Island.

“He awoke early this morning to find his cars and deck blanketed in snow, he said it looks stunning but the conditions ‘take some adjusting,’” Neal said. “‘When I took the dogs out in the morning, I realised the deck was like a skating rink.’”

 

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