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Thread: Snow Storm in New Zealand 7/25/11

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    St. Thomas, USVI

    Question Snow Storm in New Zealand 7/25/11

    WOW Guys........ any pics?

    Snow Storm - Australia - New Zealand
    Posted: 24 Jul 2011 08:11 PM PDT

    EDIS Number: SS-20110725-31724-NZL
    Date / time: 25/07/2011 03:11:35 [UTC]
    Event: Snow Storm
    Area: Australia
    Country: New Zealand
    Location: [Statewide]
    Number of Deads: N/A
    Number of Injured: N/A
    Number of Infected: N/A
    Number of Missing: N/A
    Number of Affected: N/A
    Number of Evacuated: N/A
    Damage level: Moderate


    There are reports and pictures of snow on the beaches as an icy blast slices through the country. In Christchurch, hardest hit by the polar conditions, there's even snow on the beach at the spit in south New Brighton, at Southshore. In Akaroa, the snow is also down to sea level. In the north, TVNZ has been sent pictures of snow in Hawera, two kilometres from the beach, and in Eltham, Taranaki. Across the island in Gisborne, there are also reports of snow. A number of state highways around the country have been closed and some are unlikely to open today because of the extreme weather conditions. Heavy snow, sleet and high winds are making conditions treacherous throughout the country and motorists are urged to avoid all but urgent travel. Most state highways in Southland and Central Otago are closed including many tourist areas. Overnight snow has also closed many central Christchurch roads and the City Council is warning motorists to stay off all city roads and to travel only if they have to. University students needn't bother - Canterbury university is closed today because of the weather. The council says it appears the situation is worse in the eastern parts of the city where roads are already in poor condition following the recent earthquakes. By midday 19 people had been injured in the South Island, after slipping or falling on ice or snow. St John ambulance attended seven cases in Christchurch alone, using four-wheel drive ambulances.

    There have been isolated power cuts in and around the Christchurch region but in most cases electricity has been quickly restored. Some Sumner residents reported they were without power for several hours overnight. However by 1.30pm about 2000 Orion customers in the Canterbury area were without power due to damage caused by the snow. About 1700 customers were without power in parts of Marshland and Burwood early this afternoon, and other areas affected include Spencerville, Bishopdale, Harewood, Tai Tapu and Rolleston. Orion says it working as fast as it can in extreme weather conditions to get the power back on. It says people can find updates on the outages on its website and via Twitter through their mobile phones. Southland roads are in a treacherous state and the public is being advised to stay home and avoid all non-essential travel this morning. Around 220 motorists were stranded and ended up spending the night in the Waitati Hall, north of Dunedin, last night, after snow closed Dunedin's Northern Motorway and the Kilmog hill yesterday. State Highway 6 between Invercargill and Queenstown reopened this morning to vehicles carrying chains, but is closed to towing vehicles. Emergency Management Southland said anyone who had to travel in hill country areas should carry chains and fit them where necessary. "You have to assume that all country roads will be marginal, if not impassable," said Neil Cruickshank. "We strongly advise people to stay home at least until mid morning today. The roads are treacherous and footpaths are very slippery everywhere," he said.

    The NZ Transport Agency says motorists should watch for ice and grit in shaded areas and carry chains if travelling the alpine passes. The agency is warning of black ice in Otago and Southland and recommends only essential travel in these regions. Lincoln University is also closed. The snow has crept as far north as Palmerston North, Hawera and Stratford, and Hawke's Bay. Conditions are also treacherous in many other parts of the North Island, with the SH2 Rimutaka Hill Road closed and unlikely to reopen today. The Desert Road is also closed (SH1) as well as the alternate route from Waiouru to Taihape - SH5. SH35 is closed after a washout at Waipiro. Snow is also being seen on the hills of Wellington suburbs - including Tawa, Johnsonville, Karori and Kelburn. Further north, it's also on the hills in Masterton. Forecasters say snow could hit the central city even - the last time snow was seen in Wellington CBD was 1994. The snow is part of an Antarctic blast that is expected to work its way up the country today. MetService is warning that the central North Island from Taupo to Taihape, including inland Wanganui and Manawatu, will see surges of snow for most of today, right through until midnight. It's predicting 10-20cm could fall above 600 metres and 5-10cm down to 200 metres. Sunny Hawke's Bay is today snowy, and more will fall until midday when it's expected to mix with rain. The Napier-Taupo road is closed. The super-chilled blast of air is coming straight off the South Pole and is expected to be one of the coldest spells this winter. There are reports of snow falling to sea level, or near sea level, right across the South Island from Invercargill to Dunedin, Christchurch to Greymouth and Hokitika. Hail showers hit parts of Auckland this morning and MetService told ONE News this morning that there was a chance of snow dusting the Waitakeres today.

    Due to the heavy snowfall in the South Island, flights to and from Christchurch, Dunedin, Queenstown and Invercargill airports are still badly disrupted with most flights cancelled until 3pm today. Airlines will reassess the situation at 3pm. All flights into and out of Christchurch were cancelled after the massive snowstorm blanketed the city in up to 30cm of snow today. The airport is officially open, with staff working to keep runways clear and then leaving it up to the airlines to decide whether they want to continue to fly there throughout the day. Already Air New Zealand has cancelled 26 flights because of the weather at Christchurch, Dunedin and Invercargill airports. "We have two graders and a snow plow working continuously on the runways, but as fast as they clear the snow, it builds up again," said Geoff Eban, the incident controller at Christchurch airport. More than 500 people are waiting in the terminal waiting for flights to resume. Around 160 air travellers were stranded at Wellington airport overnight when their Christchurch-bound flight had to turn back to the capital, unable to land because of snow on the runway. Dunedin airport's runway is also being cleared of snow but Air NZ has cancelled all its flights to Dunedin until 10.55am. The first flights out of Queenstown this morning were also grounded by snow.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    St. Thomas, USVI

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    New Zealand
    We're located in Auckland, up north and generally sheltered from most of it. It was cold yesterday, and there was a bit of hail, but that was about it fortunately!
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