More rain and frost on the way

Snow to sea level, said the weather forecast ... and that's what Dunedin got - enough snow to build a giant snowball, and to bring the city to a standstill.

The southwest front which brought the snow and dropped city temperatures to 1C moved north yesterday afternoon after turning roads into dangerous slides, closing schools, and delaying or preventing hundreds of people from getting to work or opening businesses.

Dunedin was expecting a high of 8C today, with afternoon showers.

Sunny weather is expected in Auckland today, and tomorrow is expected to be the only rainy day for the rest of the week.

The weekend is expected to bring sunshine, with highs of up to 13C.

Frosts are likely from Northland to Manawatu tonight, and heavy showers that were last night lashing Kapiti, Wairarapa and Wellington are expected to hit coastal Wairarapa today.

Roading authorities were last night preparing for severe frosts expected in inland Otago.

Grit was being spread on some road to reduce the danger of packed snow turning to ice, and and contractors will be out again today.

In Dunedin, Sergeant Ed Baker said "dozens and dozens" of crashes happened on the city's snow-strewn streets, most involving a slow speed slide in to the gutter or a parked car.

Police also dealt with many reports of drivers taking unnecessary risks by taking advantage of the slippery conditions to do burnout and donuts.

The city was isolated for a time yesterday when snow closed the the northern and southern motorways closed.

The road south was re-opened by 8.30, followed six hours later by the Northern Motorway.

Ice on the runway at Dunedin International Airport resulted in 10 inward and outward flights being cancelled yesterday morning, and in Dunedin, electricity demand hit record levels.

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