8 Jul 2015

Weather - What you need to know

5:58 pm on 8 July 2015

As cold, showery southerlies spread across the country, here's the vital information needed to keep safe on the roads.

The Rimutaka Hill Road late Wednesday morning.

The Rimutaka Hill Road late Wednesday morning. Photo: MetService

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The police are urging motorists to prepare for icy roads and drive to the conditions.

Central District police have said they are preparing for some icy road conditions this evening, overnight and stretching on into mid-morning tomorrow.

In the North Island, SH5 has reopened between Napier to Taupo but motorists have been advised to take extra care.

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) says if it snows again it will consider closing the road for safety reasons. Further snow showers are expected this evening through to tomorrow evening.

The agency is also urging caution on SH1 Waiouru to Turangi for snow and ice.

On SH2 Rimutaka Hill, the road is now open but caution is urged.

More snow is forecast down to 200 metres for the Rimutaka Hill Road from later this evening through to late tomorrow, which the agency says could affect sections of the road.

It says commuters who drive over the hill should consider taking the train or working from home tomorrow as the road may be closed, or slippery and hazardous for more vulnerable road users such as motorcyclists.

On SH1, NZTA has advised motorists in Waikato to take care between Oruanui to Wairakie due to snow and ice.

South Island

Black ice is still an issue around Dunedin, Christchurch and much of the lower and inland South Island.

Sleet is falling in Christchurch tonight. Transport for Christchurch says driving conditions are extreme and black ice is expected again tomorrow morning.

There has been persistent snow over the Banks Peninsula region, which has caused closures of Western Valley Road and Bossu Road, which Transport for Christchurch says will be cleared as soon as possible.

Contractors will be working until night fall to try and clear roads. Chains and 4WD are essential on all roads in the greater Banks Peninsula region and this will continue to be the case overnight and into tomorrow.

Crews will be out early to try and clear and open roads before daybreak but this will entirely depend on the weather overnight.

NZTA has one area warning in place in Otago for snow and ice.

The agency is advising drivers to take extra care on SH1 Pine Hill to Waitati, Otago.

The Dunedin City Council says there are isolated areas of frost and black ice in the city. All roads that had been closed in the city due to the icy conditions have reopened. Drivers are urged to take care at all times.

Normal bus services have resumed across the city, although delays on all services should be expected. The Port Chalmers service is not travelling on the Upper Ravensbourne section of the route.

In Southland, NZTA has issued six warnings for snow and ice.

There are warnings on the following coastal roads in Southland:

SH1 Mataura To Bluff

SH6 Dipton To Invercargill

SH96 Mataura To Ohai

SH98 Dacre To Lorneville

SH99 Lorneville To Clifden

SH93 from Mataura to Clinton is now open, but NZTA says care is still required because of winter conditions and the possibility of black ice.

SH94 Te Anau to Milford Sound will remain closed for the rest of the day due to avalanches. It is expected to reopen on Thursday afternoon.

The agency says there is snow and ice on the following roads, and caution is urged:

SH94 Mossburn to Gore

SH97 Mossburn to Five Rivers

SH6 Dipton to Kingston

In Christchurch, Dyers Pass Rd between Governors Bay and the Sign of the Takahe is the only closed local road.

The Purau Port Levy Road has been reopened and chains are essential for all roads in the rural Banks Peninsula area.

The Transport for Christchurch website says there are pockets of ice in sheltered areas in the city and drivers are urged to be cautious.

MetService has lifted its severe weather warning for Hawke's Bay and Taihape, including the Central Plateau, and says heavy snows have eased.

On the Desert Road, snow showers are expected to return this evening and continue through to Friday morning.

Snow showers are expected to become more persistent on the Rimutaka Hill Road this evening.

On the Lewis Pass, snow showers are expected about the road until Thursday evening.

Snow showers are forecast for Arthurs Pass from this evening until tomorrow evening.

On Porters Pass, snow showers are expected until tomorrow evening.