9 Aug 2015

More snow expected to fall overnight

6:14 am on 9 August 2015

All State Highways are now open after winter weather closed several, but another burst of snow is expected overnight in the central North Island.

The Rimutaka Hill Road on Thursday morning.

The Rimutaka Hill Road on Thursday morning. Photo: MetService

The Transport Agency is advising people to drive to the wintery conditions.

While all State Highways are open, the agency said chains were essential on State Highway 8 between Omarama and Tarras.

MetService said an active trough is expected to cross the central North Island tonight and into Sunday morning, bringing another burst of snow in the hills.

The Desert Road was closed earlier today but has since reopened.

Heavy snow closed some alpine passes in the South Island overnight, trapping some motorists.

Transport Agency Journey Manager Lee Wright said a few cars travelling on State Highway 73 got stuck.

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''The cars were using snow socks which are only suitable for short distances rather than snow chains."

They were all picked up from their cars and taken to accommodation for the night, she said.

MetService issued a severe weather watch for parts of the central North Island, with snow expected down to 600 metres.

Heavy snow was also expected throughout today and overnight in the Hawke's Bay ranges and the Gisborne area.