Two major roads in central North Island closed due to snow

Not so much a desert but a winter wonderland. Photo / file
Not so much a desert but a winter wonderland. Photo / file

Two major roads in the Central Plateau remain closed today after significant snow fall over night.

The Desert Road is closed from Taihape to Rangipo and the main detour from Ohakune to Waiouru is also closed.

MetService meteorologist Chris Noble said he had received a report of 11cm of snow falling in Taihape last night and said at the top of the Desert Road much more would have fallen.

"We're looking at webcams in the area and it does look like quite a lot of the Desert Road and in Waiouru."

Snow showers over night and early this morning had dusted the Rimutaka Hills, however the road remains open.

Mr Noble said the area would be in for more snow showers throughout the morning.

Snow showers in the Central Plateau would clear this morning, but Mr Noble said the showers would move in tonight as the freezing level drops again.

Temperatures in the South Island were also low last night.

"There's been one or two little showers feeding in to Southland and South Otago," Mr Noble said.

The temperatures across the country would rise and the showers clear as a high over the Tasman Sea moves in across the weekend in time for the weekend, with the South Island feeling the change in weather first today.

"They're warming up a bit quicker than the rest of the country," Mr Noble said.

Hawkes Bay and Gisborne would see the last of the showers clearing tomorrow, he said.

- APNZ

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