'Shock to the system' - Kiwis warned to brace for coldest winter 'for quite some time'

The sharp dip in temperatures this week does point to one of the coldest New Zealand winters in years, according to a MetService meteorologist.

The entire country has has awoken in a chill this morning, with the warmest national temperature as of 6am today a miserable 12.5C in Kaitaia - everywhere else is colder.

MetService meteorologist Georgina Griffiths says the stormy chill this week is forecast to continue into next week - which should be "unusually cold even for June".

"Very sunny in the afternoon, but cold, and frost, next week looks very frosty, so we're going to have to watch out for frost next week," Ms Griffiths says. 

Ms Griffiths said it is true to say 2018 has so far been a year of extremes, and at least for June that will be continuing.

Snow is still falling on Cadrona ski filed. Source: Twitter / Snow Forecast

"The first part of this year was abnormally warm. Now all of the drivers for abnormal warmth have gone, in fact they diminished about six weeks ago so the trend is down," Ms Griffiths said.

"Once we hit June, of course, we may see the back half of June looking closer to (monthly) average but that doesn't matter because we're into June."

But it isn't all bad, depending on your outdoor hobbies.

"There are some silver linings to this cold. The ski fields have been extremely happy this week with two or three really deep dumps of snow in the south so far," Ms Griffiths said.

"We know the roads are closed. The North Island has also seen some sprinkles, so excellent stuff.

"We've seen good snow, early snow down south. We've had depth of snow now, we'll get another 40cm or so today. We're at that point of the year where it will lie now."

With heavy snow warnings in force again across much of the country today, it is set to be cold leading into, and continuing through, the weekend.

Auckland's relatively warm 17C today compared to the rest of the country looks like 15C by Saturday.

Christchurch will be lucky to hit 10C tomorrow, with a southerly wind that will make that feel much colder.  

This morning it's about 0C in Queenstown, with a frosty high of 7C.

Looking further ahead, the 2018 winter looks closer to a historically average temperature for the season - which may be a shock to Kiwis after two years of unusually mild winters.

"We haven't had a winter that's been near average for quite some time," Ms Griffiths said.

"So 2016 was really abnormally warm, last year more of less warm until the end of June, so I think it might be a bit of a shock to the system, not to mention the power bill."

MetServices’s Georgina Griffiths says this week’s chill is set to stay, in what’s predicted to be the coldest winter in years. Source: Breakfast


Wintry weather brings snow and ice forcing closure of Desert Road and Crown Range road

Snow and ice has forced the closure of the Desert Road.

In a a tweet NZTA confirmed State Highway One's closure between Waiouru and Rangipo.  

Snow and ice has forced the closure of the Desert Rd and the Crown Range road. Source: Breakfast

They say there's a detour of State Highway 46 and State Highway 47 to National Park.

Crown Range closed

In the deep south the Crown Range is closed to all vehicles this morning due to heavy snowfall overnight.

The Queenstown Lakes District Council says snow is falling in Arrowtown, Dalefield, Arthurs Point, Queenstown Hill and Fernhill.

Extra caution is needed on the road's today and snow chains are essential.

In the deep south residents woke to freezing temperatures and heavy snow, while in the north there were headaches for drivers. Source: 1 NEWS

Warnings are in place for all of the Alpine Passes.

Other road closures

SH6 Haast to Makarora; SH94 Hollyford Valley Road intersection to Chasm Street Bridge; SH73 Arthurs Pass to Otira is now closed to all towing vehicles due to snow. All other vehicles are required to have chains.

Snow warning for the the following roads

SH6 Cromwell to Gibbston; SH6 Omamarama to Tarras; SH94 Mossburn to Te Anau

In the North Island snow and ice forced the closure of the Desert Road. Source: 1 NEWS

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For more on this story, watch 1 NEWS at 6pm. Source: 1 NEWS


Fuel company offers 'some relief' from record petrol prices with 12 cents off - but it's only temporary

Fuel company Gull says it's offering "some relief" from record high petrol prices, with 12 cents off per litre on all fuel from this morning until midday tomorrow.

Last week, 91 octane petrol rose seven cents to just under $2.30 in Wellington and the South Island, beating the previous record high in 2013.

Gull has announced it's offering 12 cents off per litre across all fuel on its official discount day from 7am today until midday tomorrow.

"Kiwis have been feeling the impact of soaring global oil prices and a depreciating New Zealand dollar for weeks and now petrol prices have reached a record high," said Gull pricing analyst Rohan Mehta in a statement released this morning. 

Energy Minister Megan Woods said they want reassurances people are paying a fair price at the pump. Source: 1 NEWS

Last week 91 octane petrol rose seven cents to just under $2.30 in Wellington and the South Island. Source: 1 NEWS

Ken Shirely says the depreciating NZ dollar is responsible for the high price of petrol at the moment. Source: Breakfast

The Road Transport Forum’s chief executive Ken Shirley said earlier this week it’s “not inconceivable” the record $2.30 price could go to $3 a litre in six to 12 months. 

This week we discuss the regional fuel tax, which combined with the National fuel tax will see Aucklanders paying 20 cents more a litre for petrol.
Source: 1 NEWS