rivers are being warned to take extra care in Central Otago after snow overnight, with the temperature in Queenstown dropping to zero and not expected to top 13 degrees Celsius on Wednesday.
Queenstown Lakes District Council said there had been heavy snow to low levels overnight on the Crown Range and across the Wakatipu Basin. The Crown Range was open but chains must be carried and fitted where indicated.
“There is snow on the ground on the state highway from Gibbston through to Frankton and Arrowtown through to Queenstown via Malaghans Rd,” the council said.
The NZ Transport Agency urged caution on State Highway 6 from Queenstown to Cromwell because of snow. On Wednesday morning SH 94 from Te Anau to Milford Sound was closed because of a moderate avalanche hazard but the road was expected to reopen.
MetService data shows 47mm of rain in Queenstown on Tuesday, while NZTA had warned of flooding on SH 8 at Tarras, Otago, on Tuesday afternoon. Milford Sound had 142mm of rain on Tuesday.
In contrast to the wintry blast down south, MetService is forecasting highs of 24C on Wednesday in Napier and Hastings as blustery northerlies warm up Hawke’s Bay.
Things are much quieter in Auckland, which is forecast to have a 19C high with a few showers. Wellington could have occasional rain, mostly in the morning, with a strong but easing northerly and an expected high of 17C. Christchurch has a chance of late morning rain on the way to 15C.
Hamilton is expected to have occasional rain and a 19C high, while Tauranga looks likely to have a similar day on the way to 20C.
Occasional rain is expected to clear during the afternoon in New Plymouth, which is headed for 16C. Napier is predicted to get to 24C with blustery northerlies, and has just a chance of an afternoon shower.
Palmerston North could have some rain around the middle of the day with a 19C high, while Nelson is expected to get to 18C after morning rain.
It’s been raining in Dunedin overnight and more rain is expected during the morning, easing to showers later with a 14C high. Invercargill is expected to have occasional showers, a fresh westerly and a high of just 12C.