INDEPENDENT NEWS

Snow This Weekend Southern And Central South Island/Te Waipounamu

Published: Fri 17 May 2024 03:26 PM
MetService is forecasting a cold front bringing snow to road level from the Milford Road and Southland over Otago into South Canterbury and the southern lakes area this weekend, says NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi (NZTA).
The snow is forecast to hit the road around 7 am Saturday at the southern end on the Milford Road. “The front may stall for a time,” says MetService, which could result in heavy snow in some places.
NZTA’s Southland and Otago Journey Manager Nicole Felts advises people who are driving along these routes to be prepared for snow, to drive to the conditions and check the NZTA traffic and travel maps and MetService updates ahead of setting off.Southland
The front is forecast to move across north and north-west Southland from early Saturday, clearing from the south midday Saturday.
SH94 Gore/Mossburn to Te Anau, the Milford Road, and SH6 Invercargill to Queenstown, could get 2-3 cm of snow to 400 metres. Between Athol and Kingston, up to 9 cm of snow could settle.
People should also watch for ice early Sunday, says Miss Felts.Lindis Pass later on Saturday could get more snow – up to 20 cm
Although only 1-3 cm of snow is forecast for Porters Pass on SH73 west of Springfield, the Lindis Pass, SH8 linking Otago and Canterbury between Cromwell and Omarama could get 10-20 cm from noon Saturday through to early Sunday morning.
Anyone driving these routes, as well as Burkes Pass, the entrance to the Mackenzie District, around Lake Tekapo and Twizel and SH80 the highway into Mt Cook/ Aoraki should be prepared, says NZTA.
People should expect disruptions during this time and if they can avoid travelling overnight Saturday in these areas, that would be wise.
“Get to where you are going early, rather than later,” says Miss Felts.
Tips for driving in icy or light snow conditions:Drive slower than normalSlow ahead of bridge decks and shaded parts of the highway where it can be slippery with black ice a possibility.Avoid sudden braking or turning movements that can cause you to skidGritted roads will help give traction but also require a slower speedUse your highest gear when travelling uphill and your lowest downhillDouble the two second following rule at least – it takes longer to stop on iceIf it is foggy, drive with your lights dippedPlan your trip to avoid the coldest times of the day or night if you can.From the MetService 2 pm this afternoon – Friday, 17 May:Heavy Snow Watch
Area: Canterbury High Country south of the Rangitata River
Period: 21hrs from 3pm Sat, 18 May - noon Sun, 19 May
Forecast: Heavy snowfall is possible above 500 metres where amounts may approach, or even exceed, warning criteria.
Area: Southern Lakes, and Central Otago north of Alexandra
Period: 24hrs from 6am Sat, 18 May - 6am Sun, 19 May
Forecast: Heavy snowfall is possible above 600 metres where amounts may approach, or even exceed, warning criteria.Road Snowfall Warning
Area: Porters Pass (SH73)
Period: 10hrs from 9pm Sat, 18 May - 7am Sun, 19 May
Forecast: 1 - 3 cm of snow could accumulate near the summit with lesser amounts to 800 metres.
Area: Haast Pass (SH6)
Period: 30hrs from midnight Fri, 17 May - 6am Sun, 19 May
Forecast: 3 - 5 cm of snow could accumulate on the road.
Area: Lindis Pass (SH8)
Period: 22hrs from noon Sat, 18 May - 10am Sun, 19 May
Forecast: 10 - 20 cm of snow could accumulate near the summit with lesser amounts to 300 metres.
Area: Crown Range Road
Period: 9hrs from 8am - 5pm Sat, 18 May
Forecast: 2 - 4 cm of snow (possibly more) could accumulate near the summit with lesser amounts to 400 metres.
Area: Milford Road (SH94)
Period: 6hrs from 7am - 1pm Sat, 18 May
Forecast: 3 - 5 cm of snow (possibly more) could accumulate above 700 metres, with lesser amounts to 400 metres.

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