Warnings as more heavy snow on the way for South Island

Motorists are being warned about several roads that are forecast to be hit with heavy snow tonight and tomorrow.

A cold front is forecast to move north across the country tomorrow, while a low develops to the east of the South Island and then moves away to the east late Tuesday.

A drop in temperatures, showers and snow was forecast over the South Island for tomorrow, and possibly across the lower and central North Island on Tuesday.

MetService said the cold snap was expected to affect many higher roads and farms in those areas, and there was a moderate risk the snow would reach warning criteria about inland Canterbury and Kaikōura from Monday evening.

According to Metservice, rain is expected to turn to snow tomorrow at several passes, including Lewis Pass (State Highway 7), Arthur's Pass (State Highway 73), Porters Pass (State Highway 73), Haast Pass (State Highway 6), Lindis Pass (State Highway 8).

Meanwhile, this evening snow is also expected to hit Crown Range Road, and the Milford Road (State Highway 94) tunnel.

A heavy snow watch was also in place north and south of the Rangitata River, North and Central Otago, and Dunedin.

The road snow warnings follow on from last week's snow blitz in Queenstown, when hundreds of people were left without power after trees knocked down power poles and numerous roads were shut.

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But residents and stranded tourists made the most of the big dump. Source: 1 NEWS

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Chilly weather in store for much of the country with cold front set to hit Sunday

Chilly weather is in store for much of the country as a cold front sweeps over much of New Zealand from late Sunday and into Monday.

MetService says, "this front is forecast to deliver a cold and showery south to southwest flow across New Zealand, with snow lowering to 200 to 300 metres over the South Island, and possibly 500 to 600 metres across the lower North Island."

TVNZ weather presenter Dan Corbett gives the latest update. Source: 1 NEWS

But New Zealanders should expect a fine Saturday with the exception being the northern tip and the east coast of the North Island.

With Auckland getting to 20 degrees and most places in the South Island getting to 15-16 degrees.

MetService says late Tuesday, another front is forecast to approach the far south of New Zealand, and the west to southwest flow ahead of this front should strengthen.


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Why can we smell the rain before it actually arrives? A weather expert explains

Some say it's a stony smell, others say sweet. But we all know what it is: That distinctive earthy scent in the air just before and after fresh rain.

It's a phenomenon called petrichor, and we're instinctually programmed to love it, MetService meteorologist Georgina Griffiths told TVNZ1's Breakfast today as she answered a question from a viewer.

"A lot of people can't describe it but they actually really like it," she said. "And it's historical, we have an affection for this smell because originally it was survival. We relied on rain to live."

The smell, which is especially distinctive when the rain is just about to break a dry spell, is the result of oil in rocks that becomes an aerosol when humidity in the atmosphere reaches just about the same point that causes rain, she said.

The term petrichor, a reference to the blood of Greek gods, was coined by Australian scientists in 1964 who did a series of studies about what caused the smell.

"Basically, they tested in the lab -- they steamed distilled rocks from the Australian outback or somewhere nice and dry to see what would happen," she said. "And they identified what the smell was. It was actually a yellow oil that came out of the rocks."

Since then, some enterprising amateur geologists have tried to bottle the oil in attempts to make money off our natural affinity for the smell, Ms Griffiths said.

"I'm not sure if they were successful," she said.

MetService meteorologist Georgina Griffiths looks at the science behind the smell we’re instinctually programmed to love. Source: Breakfast


Fine weather for most of the country today, a few scattered clouds otherwise clear

TVNZ weather presenter Dan Corbett gives the latest update. Source: 1 NEWS