Wintry blast hits North Otago

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North Otago received it first wintry blast over the weekend, with snow falling to ground levels in some parts of the Waitaki district.

Snow fell overnight on Sunday on the Kakanui hills and at Omarama and Dansey’s Pass. However, it slowly melted away yesterday. Sleet fell in Oamaru early yesterday morning.

Emergency Services manager Chris Raine said while the wintry blast had passed, North Otago could expect another one in the coming days.

“This one has passed, but there is another one coming on Wednesday, which will bring snow down to about 300m.”

However, the front which will hit the area on Wednesday will not be as severe as the weekend’s, with it only set to be overnight, he said.

All the roads in the area, such as the Lindis Pass and State Highway 1 south of Palmerston are now open again and Mr Raine urged motorists to take extra care.

“They need to be careful, because there will be some black ice on the roads which motorists won’t see and could be incredibly dangerous,” he said.

“There could be some pretty insane frosts for this time of year.”

Mr Raine said Queen’s Birthday Weekend could be a sunny one, with a high set to come over the region on Friday.

By BRAYDEN LINDSAY