May 23, 2022

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Ailments relieve soon after polar blast slams South

7 min read

The polar blast that pounded the South has mostly moved by means of, soon after roads have been closed, educational facilities delayed and flights impacted by the snow and winds.

Practically all the southern highways, which include Dunedin’s Northern Motorway, are open up now immediately after major snow still left lots of closed overnight and for substantially of this morning.

The blast is now hitting even more north, and Wellington appears to be established to cop the worst of it, with monster waves lashing the coast and snow predicted in the hills this afternoon and evening.

A NZ Transport Agency spokeswoman verified just in advance of 11am the highway involving Dunedin and Waitati (Point out Highway 1) was now open up.

By 3pm all but a single (SH87 Outram-Kyeburn) of the South’s highways had reopened, but motorists have been still encouraged to consider care owing to wintry circumstances. 

A MetService meteorologist stated the winds and snow would be easing off from this afternoon, but small temperatures would linger overnight.

Street users would will need to be careful as snow melted, as ice could be far more hazardous than snow, she reported.

On the east coastline, waves were achieving 8m, prompting a warning for people today to stay absent from the coast.

Flights affected 

Flights were affected at airports in the South, but by late morning most expert services from Dunedin and Invercargill had been working as scheduled. Queenstown flights continued to be affected into the afternoon. 

Queenstown Airport general manager, operations and safety, Mike Clay reported the first flight from Auckland landed this morning soon after staff labored as a result of the evening to very clear the runway, roadways and footpath in close proximity to the terminal.

Mr Clay mentioned flights could still be delayed or cancelled currently and travellers really should double-check out with their airline.

In the meantime,  a lot of universities in the South had a late commence owing to the snow, and quite a few closed for the day.

The final two times also brought popular ability interruptions and community disturbances.

PowerNet’s main running officer Justin Peterson this afternoon claimed the enterprise experienced been extremely active with outages considering the fact that Monday early morning and ended up nonetheless performing to restore all afflicted clients.

Significantly of the location experienced snowfall overnight, creating a number of state highways to shut, and severe gales had been forecast to abide by.

Wind would go on currently with the opportunity for intense gales, but ailments should really start to simplicity tomorrow, forecasters reported before. It was expected snow would fall to as low as 100m and the wind would be “bitterly cold”.

The climate prompted disruptions in the South yesterday, with flights impacted, and roadways and educational facilities closed as the polar blast swept via. Snow started to fall in pieces of Dunedin from 3pm.

Snow settled in suburbs throughout Dunedin very last evening, like in the City Belt, prior to it was washed away by rain. Several centimetres of snow was nonetheless on the ground in the hill suburbs late this early morning, which contractors then cleared.

MetService experienced a number of critical climate watches and warning however in put for now.

A hefty snow watch was in put for Fiordland, south of Charles Seem. 

A robust wind check out was in location for most of the South, including North Otago, Dunedin, Clutha, Southland about and south of Mossburn and Stewart Island.

The forecast for Dunedin right now is showers, snow to 100m and doable squally thunderstorms prior to dawn, getting to be isolated by afternoon with good spells. Solid southwest, gale gusting 100 km/h in exposed spots at initial.

Queenstown and Central Otago

The Queenstown Lakes District Council recommended there was snow through the Wakatipu Basin and driving problems had been “extraordinary”, but circumstances eased through the day.

The Crown Assortment Road, linking Queenstown with Wanaka, was set to reopen at 1.30pm. Chains might be necessary in specified sections, the QLDC advised.

Queenstown was blanketed in snow at ground degree, with Ritchies bus operator having to run a 4×4 shuttle assistance along the steep Fernhill Rd.

Orbus Queenstown posted on social media to say all routes had been managing by mid-early morning, if a little bit delayed and some would be making use of the 4×4 automobiles.

Grit vans ended up out and snow ploughs have been despatched about the location to clear condition highways and alpine roadways.

“If you will have to push now, here is the deal: snow chains, go sluggish, retain a harmless pursuing distance,” the QLDC said.

The Fernhill suburb of Queenstown was coated in a 4-6cm dusting, building journey tough on the hills.

Some young children could be viewed tobogganing, even though grown ups waited for Ritchies all wheel travel minibus to securely navigate them to the bottom of Fernhill Rd, so they could get to work.

The Central Otago District Council explained the Maniototo and Manuherkia regions ended up open up with warning advised as ice and grit ended up the two existing.

“Make sure you lower your speeds and push to the conditions. Groups are still functioning in these parts gritting.”

“We are hopeful that snow circumstances will relieve today,” Waka Kotahi journey manager Tresca Forrester mentioned.

”However, wind chill is keeping temperatures very low and ice could keep on in many areas currently and overnight to Wednesday.

“Please enjoy your adhering to distances, gradual down, switch your lights on and expect ice on some bridge decks and regions that get minor sunlight.  Grit vans will be hectic, count on to see snow ploughs and in some locations chains may well be desired.”

School cancellations/delays


  • Brockville Faculty Shut
  • Halfway Bush Faculty Shut
  • Waikouaiti Faculty Shut
  • Wakari School Closed

Faculties WITH 10AM Commences

  • Otago Girls Superior School
  • Bradford College
  • Dunedin North Intermediate
  • St Mary’s Mosgiel
  • Sarah Cohen School
  • Balmacewen Intermediate
  • Fairfield School
  • Pine Hill School
  • Port Chalmers College
  • Harmony University
  • St Leonards College
  • Maori Hill University
  • Liberton Christian University
  • Kavanagh University
  • St Brigids University
  • Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ōtepoti
  • St Marys Faculty, Mosgiel
  • Waihola District School
  • St Josephs School, Port Chalmers
  • Columba College or university 10:50AM Commence


  • Wakari, Halfway Bush & Brockville Kindergartens Closed
  • All other Dunedin Kindergartens are a 10am commence

10AM Commences

  • St Clair Corner Early Discovering Centre & Infants and Toddlers
  • Montessori House Atelier, Casa, Casita & Nido dei Bambini
  • Little Miracles St Kilda
  • Arthur Burns Preschool
  • Small Rock Preschool Brighton
  • Family members Ties Educare in Musselburgh, Macandrew Bay & Pine Hill
  • Learning Links Montessori
  • OUCA Centres
  • Kiddies Campus in York Spot

Yesterday’s events 

By 9pm on Monday, Dunedin’s Northern Motorway was shut, with street consumers advised to change back to the metropolis. A police spokeswoman reported they have been contemplating closing other hillside roadways.

Ability outages triggered by the temperature impacted the Catlins and West Otago parts final night.

Popular snow fell in the course of the day in Southland, specifically influencing northern and western places.

There were being falls in Queenstown, Balclutha, Naseby, Ranfurly and Lawrence, with early flurries in some of Dunedin’s hill suburbs.

Ski fields welcome wintry blast

Queenstown Lakes District skifields welcomed the blast of winter season temperature, which allowed them to open up or increase out there snow terrain. Cardrona was closed yesterday due to the storm and solid winds.

NZSki communications and media relations manager Libby Baron said 17cm fell in 24 several hours at The Remarkables.

A staged opening at Coronet Peak was still scheduled for tomorrow.

The Snow Farm was in a keeping pattern ready for ample snow to open trails.

Snow settled involving Outram and Middlemarch and about the greater passes.

Point out Highway 87 (Outram-Kyeburn) was shut yesterday and the Milford Rd (SH94) and the Crown Vary Rd had been closed right away, the latter scheduled to reopen at 7am now, with chains to be carried.

In Central Otago, Danseys Move Rd and Moa Flat Rd were being closed owing to snow and ice.

Some Southland educational institutions shut for the working day, together with Northern Southland College, Lumsden College, Balfour Principal University and Mossburn Major Faculty. Lee Stream University in Otago was shut.

Wind prompted serious disruption with yesterday’s Air New Zealand flights in and out of Invercargill Airport cancelled. Some Dunedin and Queenstown companies were also affected.

Niwa forecasting and media principal scientist Chris Brandolino mentioned “a major punch of cold air” coming off the ice from deep in the polar location hit the place.

Wind chills for the reduced third of the South Island have been expected to reach -15degC past night time.

Jim Macdonald, of Clarks Junction, said there was about 15-20cm of snow around his farm. Farmers were prepared for the situations and anticipated them in the course of winter season, he said.

Federated Farmers Otago president Mark Patterson explained it was fortunate the bad climate arrived now relatively in a several months when beef farmers were being calving.

The forecast experienced provided sufficient warning and farmers experienced time to get inventory to lessen floor.

“As long as it’s a small sharp shock most farmers really should get by means of it really comfortably,” he mentioned.

  • Road closures will have influenced the shipping of the Otago Everyday Moments this early morning.

 – supplemental reporting RNZ

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