Coldest day brings snow to ranges

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The coldest day of the year is upon us with possible frosts to come later in the week.

With temperatures down to four degrees last night in the city a drop of snow has covered the tips of the Mount Arthur and Lake Rotoiti ranges.

Met Service meteorologist John Law says the temperature drop is caused by winds coming up from the antarctic.

“We’ve had a real cold mass of air moving up across the South Island over the last few days arriving from down south.”

He says the snow on the Arthur Range is due to the moisture levels in the behind the hill.

“They also need the moisture. The showers stayed behind the hills which is why the snow hasn’t fallen any closer.”

The cold shock is expected to last a few days but John says this early temperature drop is not expected to hang around.

“It’s a short, sharp, cold shock for us here in New Zealand. The air is all moving away so hopefully we find the temperatures start to pick up in the next few days or so.”

He says there may be a chance of frost around the city this week with the clear skies continuing overnight.

Mount Arthur wasn’t the only area affected in the Upper South Island with snowfalls sprinkling the hills surrounding Saint Arnaud.

“You can see the hills on the Lake Rotoiti webcam. They have a dusting of snow too.”

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