1 Jun 2011

Warm weather delays start to ski season

3:05 pm on 1 June 2011

Warm weather is delaying the opening of one of the ski fields that is usually among the first to start the season.

Coronet Peak, near Queenstown, was meant to open on Saturday but the warm weather is not helping snow to form.

Ski area manager Hamish McCrostie says it has a team on standby to operate 211 snow guns to spread snow over the mountain when temperatures eventually drop.

The field needs about 72 hours of continuous cool temperatures and low humidity to make enough snow to open.

Mr McCrostie says it normally has two delays in every 10 years because of the weather.

Senior NIWA climate scientist Georgina Griffiths says cool southerly snaps that help snow form should arrive by late June.

Temperatures are slightly up on normal winter conditions as the La Nina weather pattern comes to an end, she says.