Te Waipounamu/South Island weather reminders overnight Wednesday into Thursday


A heavy snow watch remains in force over large parts of Te Waipounamu/ South Island Wednesday and overnight into Thursday, potentially passing over the island early Thursday.

“Yesterday’s orange warning has been downgraded to yellow for north of Arthur’s Pass/ central Canterbury,” says Tresca Forrester, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Journey Manager for the West Coast and Top of the South Island. 

“Drivers will still need to drive well-prepared and ready for snow and ice in inland Buller District, western Tasman, inland Canterbury and about and north of Arthur’s Pass, inland Marlborough, the Richmond Range and Nelson Lakes National Park,” she says. “It’s still possible short closures could occur across the road network.”

  • Snow is also forecast south of Arthur’s Pass to Lake Tekapo from 6 pm tonight to midnight.
  • Porters Pass on SH73 is forecast to catch snow overnight from late Wednesday afternoon.
  • The Lindis Pass (SH8) between Cromwell and Omarama may also get snow showers today and overnight, possibly peaking after midnight, 1 am to 3 am.

Further south, there is a heavy snow watch over much of Otago and Southland, inland from Dunedin and across to Milford Sound/ Piopiotahi. Crews are well prepared with grit trucks and de-icing compound replenished.

Gorge Hill in Southland, SH94, at daybreak today (Wednesday) – trucks and graders ensuring the road is safe as it can be for winter driving conditions.

Winter driving tips

  • Drive slower than you normally would – it only takes a split second to lose control in wet or icy conditions.
  • Avoid sudden braking or turning movements that could cause you to skid.
  • For vehicles without anti-skid braking systems, to avoid skidding or sliding, smoothly pump the brake pedal in short bursts rather than pressing long and hard.
  • Drive at a safe travelling distance because it takes longer to stop on slippery roads. In winter, double the two-second rule and leave a safe distance between you and the vehicle ahead.
  • When travelling in fog, rain or snow, drive with your lights dipped.
  • Make sure everyone is wearing their seat belt throughout the full journey