Brief burst of mountain snow

Wednesday 21 May 2008, 6:25PM

By Metservice



MetService forecasters have issued a heavy snow warning for the hills of northern Southland, inland Otago, and south Canterbury.

"Heavy rain is already falling in Fiordland and southern Westland", commented MetService Weather Ambassador, Bob McDavitt. "On Thursday a cold front is expected to move northeast over southern districts and to reach Canterbury in the afternoon. With the arrival of colder southerly winds,rain is likely to turn to snow in the hills. The heaviest falls will be above 700 metres. Around 10cm is likely to fall down to the 400 metre altitude with lighter falls possible to 300 metres."

Mr. McDavitt added that the inland Otago ski fields should benefit to the tune of around 20 cm of snow from this system. "That's good news for skiers. The snowfalls should ease off and return to rain on Friday when the wind changes direction and comes in from the southeast."

Driving conditions are expected to be hazardous, especially on higher roads,and road snowfall warning have been issued for Milford Road and Lindis Pass. Conditions are likely to be changeable and motorists can find the latest weather forecasts and warnings on the MetService web site.