Winter weather brings dangerous black ice

Large parts of the South Island were left covered in snow today.
Large parts of the South Island were left covered in snow today.

Dangerous black ice is expected on southern roads tomorrow morning, and drivers are being urged to take extreme care.


Snow, freezing temperatures and clearing overhead conditions mean many Otago and Southland roads will probably be affected by severe icing, the NZ Transport Agency warned.

Timelapse: Snow hits Dunedin


NZTA's Otago-Southland Highways Manager, Ian Duncan said the wintry storm that swept through both regions had now been followed by clearing, cold weather, making black ice a real danger. This form of ice was especially treacherous because it could not be seen.

"Winter roads demand winter driving and motorists can keep themselves safe by lowering their speeds, increasing their following distances, and taking extra care when cornering."

Mr Duncan said icy conditions meant trips took longer and motorists should allow more time and consider departing later in the morning to allow ice to thaw, or leave earlier in the afternoon before ice formed.

Acting Area Commander Otago Rural Inspector Andrew Burns said the freezing conditions forecast overnight would make driving extremely difficult.

Mr Burns said it was important that anyone driving over the next 24 hours remained aware of the likelihood of black ice right throughout Otago and Southland.

The latest winter driving conditions are available at, or by calling 0800 44 44 49.


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