Monday, April 22, 2024

Polar blast hits South Island

Neal Wallace
Farmers are taking in their stride the first cold polar blast of winter, which has dumped up to 100mm of snow in parts of the South Island and is making its way up the North Island.
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Plenty of advanced warning and the fact it has arrived in the middle of winter means farmers have not been caught out, although the snow has caused some access problems in Otago.

The snow missed flood-hit parts of Mid and South Canterbury, although the region has not avoided the single-digit wind chill.

WeatherWatch lead forecaster Phil Duncan describes it as a classic, normal winter polar blast, but for some areas in the path of the storm it will be the first snowfall for a number of years.

About 100mm of snow fell in West Otago last night and Nick Murray was out this morning feeding stock and putting them back behind electric fences.

He says the early forecast ensured farmers were prepared, but the depth of snow was not exceptional for this time of year.

In the North Island snow fell in Stratford in Taranaki overnight, but Duncan says the storm’s focus has shifted to the central and eastern parts where temperatures which hit 22degC on Sunday, fell to 4degC today.

Duncan says after a run of frosts in the coming days, north westerly conditions will return by the end of the week, bringing warmer temperatures and drier conditions.

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