Spring Greeted with Heavy Snow in New Zealand

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Photo credit: Waka Kotahi

It is officially spring in the Southern Hemisphere but don’t tell that to residents of New Zealand where a severe cold front delivered heavy snow.

“A heavy snow watch has been issued for central Otago and Queenstown Lakes about and south of a line from Wanaka to Ranfurly until 7pm Friday [September 22],” reported Newshub NZ. “Snow is expected above 400 metres in these areas and may approach the warning criteria above 600 metres.”

Snow in New Zealand’s South Island was heavy in places, resulting in the Waka Kothahi, New Zealand’s transportation agency, closing some roads and asking people to remain in their homes if possible.

“The main focus of concern around snow has shifted slightly to the south with the Lindis Pass (SH8 between Tarras and Omarama, including the Mackenzie Basin) catching a dumping of snow currently. The Lindis is closed to towing vehicles currently,” Waka Kotahi told News Hub NZ. “The snow is likely to dump along SH73 around Porters Pass this afternoon above 400 metres but may not get as far north as the Lewis Pass/ Hanmer area. SH80 into Mt Cook has just closed due to heavy snow.”

The storm delivered more than one meter of snow in less than 24 hours to the Ohau Snowfields in New Zealand’s mountainous Mackenzie region, says Sign of the Times, citing reporting from SnowBrains and the private resort operator.

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