Mid-spring freeze hits New Zealand

A helicopter pilot crashed early this morning near Wanaka while fighting frost. Photo / File
A helicopter pilot crashed early this morning near Wanaka while fighting frost. Photo / File

A mid-spring freeze has hit New Zealand with sub-zero temperatures, frost and snow, hitting parts of the country this morning.

Queenstown has slipped to below freezing, with an extreme low of -0.9degrees overnight. Frosts in the area and other parts of inland South Island has made for some icy conditions on the roads.

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A pilot, fighting frost near Queenstown, was seriously injured when his chopper crashed at 4.30am, just outside of Wanaka. He managed to climb out of the wreck, and was taken to a local hospital.

This morning's high was a paltry 12.4 degrees at the other end of the country - Kaitaia.

While the temperatures are expected to stay on the cooler side of spring today, after some morning showers in parts of the country, the sun is expected to shine.


Yesterday fresh snow was spotted on the hills around Mt Cook Village.

MetService also warned the icy chill wouldn't be so good for those who'd just been planting new crops and cautioned keen gardeners that "some protection may be needed for the newly planted garden".


Around the main centres today, the rain has managed to hold off in Auckland - where thousands are taking part in the ASB Marathon, which kicked off at six this morning.

It's expected to remain fine throughout the day, with a high of 16degrees.

Wellington has a few showers this morning, though those are expected to clear by afternoon, with a high of 13 degrees forecast.

In Christchurch, a few showers are also expected this morning, but will clear by late morning, a high of 15 degrees has been forecast.

Around the regions, Southland is forecast to hit a low of two degrees overnight, fine weather at first, with morning frosts in sheltered places. Scattered showers are developing later this morning, before making way for the sun later in the day.

Marlborough has some morning frosts, with a few showers expected to clear later this morning, the overnight low was a slightly warmer four degrees.

Further north the frost has been kept at bay - the Hawke's Bay was forecast to almost hit double digits early this morning, with a low of nine degrees expected to increase to 15 degrees later this afternoon.

In Northland, isolated showers are expected this morning, before clearing with a low temperature of nine degrees warming to 15 degrees later in the day.

- NZ Herald

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