16 Jun 2009

Deep freeze moves north

10:00 pm on 16 June 2009

Icy weather that lashed the South Island on Tuesday is moving north and causing closures on major roads.

Heavy snow blanketed the lower South Island during Tuesday, shutting schools, disrupting flights and making driving conditions treacherous.

By evening, the Desert Road on state highway 1 on the North Island was closed because of snow. And state highway 2 on the Rimutaka Hill Road northeast of Wellington was also closed until further notice.

In the South Island, care was needed on state highway 87 between Outram and Middlemarch in Central Otago, due to ice.

MetService forecaster Nick Bonnett said although snowfalls would ease in the south during Tuesday, temperatures were expected to continue hovering below freezing. At midday, Dunedin and Queenstown recorded -4 degrees Celsius.