11 Jul 2017

Wintry weather: what you need to know

2:28 pm on 11 July 2017

Freezing temperatures, snow and biting southerlies are on the way. Here's what you need to know.

August 14 2014 Work is underway to clear snow from the Desert Road.

Photo: NZTA


A cold front sweeping up the South Island on Tuesday will bring snow to Southland, Fiordland, Otago, Canterbury and Marlborough. In the far south it may be as low as 100-200m and could fall to 200-300m in Canterbury.

MetService issued warning of gales and rough seas in Cook Strait on Tuesday.

Southeast gales are expected in north Canterbury, Marlborough, Nelson, Wellington, Horowhenua and Kapiti Coast from Wednesday. And in the North Island, Taihape and the Hawke's Bay ranges will get snow.

Check the latest severe weather information here


Interislander ferry sailings have been cancelled from Wednesday night, due to the predicted 5-7m swells in Cook Strait on Thursday.


Snow and ice warnings are in place for many state highways in the South Island. For full details on road conditions and closures go to NZTA's website.

State Highways: Warnings and Closures

SH85 Becks to Wedderburn - closed by snow

SH6 Arrow Junction to Kingston - snow and ice, caution advised

SH6A Frankton to Queenstown - ice - road now cleared

SH85 Palmerston to Kyeburn - black ice, caution

SH8 Omarama to Tarras - snow and ice, caution

SH80 Aoraki Mount Cook National Park to Ben Ohau - snow and ice, caution advised

SH82 Kurow to Waimate - ice, caution

SH6 Ross to Haast Pass - icy conditions, slow down.

SH8 Clarksville To Raes Junction - ice, caution

SH90 Raes Junction to Mcnab - ice, caution

SH1 Palmerston to Balclutha - ice, caution

SH87 Kyeburn to Mosgiel - black ice, caution

SH85 Palmerston to Kyeburn - black ice, caution

SH94 Te Anau to Milford - road reopened, but caution advised due to icy conditions - no towing

Crown Range Road: snow falling, chains needed

MetService Road Snowfall Warnings

Arthurs Pass (SH73) - Snow is likely to affect the road from around the middle of Tuesday until Tuesday night.

Lewis Pass (SH7) - Snow is expected to affect the road from Tuesday afternoon until Wednesday morning.

Porters Pass (SH73) - Snow from Tuesday afternoon to Thursday. About 15 to 20cm could accumulate near the summit.

Lindis Pass (SH8) - Periods of snow are forecast from Tuesday morning until Thursday morning. Snow is not expected to be continuous, but 3-5cm of snow could settle on the road from time to time.

Haast Pass (SH6) - Snow could affect higher parts of the road Tuesday afternoon.

Milford Rd (SH94) - Snow is forecast to briefly affect the road on Tuesday morning.

Dunedin to Waitati Highway (SH1) - Snow showers could affect the summit from Tuesday afternoon to Thursday morning.


Flights into and out of Queenstown Airport were delayed on Tuesday morning because of ice on the runway.

Separately, fog rolled into Wellington, affecting about half a dozen flights.

Fog over Wellington on Tuesday morning.

Fog over Wellington on Tuesday morning Photo: Twitter / @WgtnCC

Wellington Airport said the fog had dispersed but there might still be delays.

A spokesperson advised passengers to keep an eye on the airport's website and check with their airline on their flight status.