10 Aug 2015

Brrr! Week gets off to a cold start

11:22 am on 10 August 2015

The entire country is either shivering after a cold snap, or preparing for the next one.

Over the weekend hundreds of skiers were stranded on Mount Ruapehu ski fields due to road closures in the Central Plateau, a weather-related travel warning has been issued for motorists in the Akaroa area near Christchurch, and Dunedin's northern motorway has just reopened.

Kiwis waking to the cold morning snapped pictures of the chilly conditions and posted them to social media.

A MetService duty forecaster said southerlies were bringing showers today and tomorrow to the North Island's far north and south east areas.

Heath Gullery said there was a heavy snow warning active for the northern Hawke's Bay and Gisborne Ranges until this afternoon.

Meanwhile, a heavy rain watch warning has been issued for the northern Hawke's Bay and southern Gisborne Region tomorrow.

Mr Gullery said the South Island can expect settled weather over the next few days, except for showers in North Canterbury and Kaikoura.

Miserable weather for northern and central NZ

Snow was expected in Hawke's Bay and Gisborne this morning, with a cold southerly hitting northern and central New Zealand.

MetService said up to 10cm of snow was expected to fall on the the Napier-Taupo road, and up to two cm on the Rimutaka hills.

Gisborne District Council warns motorists to take extra care on extremely dangerous roads.

More snow is on the way for Gisborne. Photo: SUPPLIED / GDC

Some hail was also possible in Wairarapa this afternoon.

MetService said snow had cleared in the South Island, but extreme frost and black ice can be expected in areas of Central Otago and Canterbury.

The Transport Agency was warning motorists to watch for ice, carry chains when crossing the alpine passes, and allow for additional travel time.

To share pictures or video of the weather with us, please email to: iwitness@radionz.co.nz

What you need to know

All main roads were open across the country, but the Christchurch City Council advised against all travel in the Akaroa area, near Christchurch.

The council said conditions were just too dangerous for the public to be on the road.

Meanwhile, Dunedin's northern motorway reopened after being closed by ice earlier in the morning.

The Transport Agency said motorists still need to be extra careful on the stretch of State Highway One between Dunedin and Waitati.