Heavy snow closes roads

  • 09/08/2015
(Photo: Maxwell Cole)
(Photo: Maxwell Cole)

An icy southerly blast is continuing to make driving conditions difficult across many parts of the country.

No major highways are now closed, but the New Zealand Transport Agency has several snow and ice warnings in place, particularly for South Island roads.

The Desert Rd in the central North Island was closed for some time this morning.

Road snowfall warnings are in place for the Desert Rd, the Rimutaka Hill Rd and the Napier-Taupo Rd.

Metservice still has a severe weather watch in place for the central North Island, with heavy snow possible in high country areas above 600m.

The bitterly cold southerlies will also mean snow showers to about 400m in eastern parts of Taihape and Taupo, and over the ranges of Hawke's Bay and southern Gisborne.

Metservice says the cold conditions could cause stress to vulnerable stock, as temperatures are not expected to rise significantly until mid-week.

However, fine weather is on the horizon for the northern and western parts of both islands.

"This sunshine will be well earned after all the rain these places had last week," Metservice meteorologist Stephen Glassey said.

A ridge of high pressure building over southern New Zealand tomorrow will also bring fine and frosty conditions to the lower South Island.

"Showers with hail and snow to low levels have affected many places this weekend, but most of the showers will become confined to the eastern and southern parts of the North Island by Tuesday," Mr Glassey said.

Although the sun will be out, temperatures across the country will remain relatively low.