NZ Historic Weather Events Catalog

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ModerateMay 2009 Lower North Island and South Island Snow ( 2009-05-30 )

Snow fell to low levels in parts of the central and lower North Island and the South Island. Hail and strong southerly winds were also experienced. A teenager died while hunting in the snow in Canterbury. In the Waikato, four people died and three were injured in a car crash in poor weather conditions.

New Zealand

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Duration:   3  days - From the 30th May to the 1st June.
Comments:

CommentMetService SEVERE WEATHER WARNING issued at 12:27 pm 29-May-2009: Wintry spell on Sunday with snow to sea level from Southland to the Kaikoura coast and to low levels on the hills in the south of east of the North Island. Includes HEAVY SNOW WARNING for: Southland, Otago, Canterbury, Marlborough, hills of Wellington, Wairarapa, Hawkes Bay and Gisborne, also inland areas of southern, eastern and central parts of the North Island.

CommentMetService SEVERE WEATHER WARNING issued at 7:59 pm 29-May-2009: Wintry spell on Sunday with snow down to sea level from Southland to the Kaikoura coast. Snow down to unusually low levels over the North Island with heavy falls expected in the south and east. Includes HEAVY SNOW WARNING for: Southland, Otago, Canterbury, Marlborough, also hills and ranges of Wellington, Wairarapa, Hawkes Bay, Gisborne, Manawatu, Wanganui, Taihape, Taranaki and Taupo.

CommentMetService SEVERE WEATHER WARNING issued at 8:09 am 30-May-2009: Very cold southerly outbreak over New Zealand on Sunday. Snow down to sea level from Southland to the Kaikoura coast. Snow down to unusually low levels over the North Island with some heavy falls expected in the south and east. Includes HEAVY SNOW WARNING for: Southland, Otago, Canterbury, Marlborough, also hills and ranges of Wellington, Wairarapa, Hawkes Bay, Gisborne, Manawatu, Wanganui, Taihape, Taranaki and Taupo.

CommentMetService SEVERE WEATHER WARNING issued at 8:41 pm 30-May-2009: Very cold southerly outbreak over New Zealand on Sunday. Snow down to sea level from Southland to the Kaikoura coast. Snow down to unusually low levels over the North Island with some heavy falls in the south and east. Includes HEAVY SNOW WARNING for: Southland, Otago, Canterbury, Marlborough, also the hills and ranges of Wellington, Wairarapa, Hawkes Bay, Gisborne, Manawatu, Wanganui, Taihape, Taupo and Taranaki.

CommentMetService SEVERE WEATHER WARNING issued at 8:02 am 31-May-2009: Very cold southerly outbreak over New Zealand today. Snow down to near sea level from Southland to Kaikoura coast. Snow down to unusually low levels over the North Island with some heavy falls in the south and east. Includes HEAVY SNOW WARNING for: Southland, Otago, Canterbury, Marlborough, also the hills and ranges of Wellington, Wairarapa, Hawkes Bay, Gisborne, Manawatu, Wanganui, Taihape, Taupo and Taranaki.

CommentMetService SEVERE WEATHER WARNING issued at 5:02 pm 31-May-2009: Very cold southerly outbreak over New Zealand today. Snow down to near sea level in the east of the South Island. Snow down to unusually low levels over the North Island with some heavy falls in the east. Includes HEAVY SNOW WARNING for: Canterbury, Marlborough, also the hills and ranges of Wellington, Wairarapa, Hawkes Bay, Gisborne, Manawatu, Wanganui, Taihape, Taupo and Taranaki. WARNINGS NO LONGER IN FORCE: Heavy Snowfall Warnings lifted for Southland, Otago and South Canterbury.

CommentMetService SEVERE WEATHER WARNING issued at 8:26 pm 31-May-2009: Very cold southerly outbreak over New Zealand slowly easing overnight and Monday morning. Further heavy snow possible about the hills and ranges from Wellington and Wairarapa up to Gisborne. Includes HEAVY SNOW WARNING for: hills and ranges of Wellington, Wairarapa, Hawkes Bay and Gisborne. WARNINGS NO LONGER IN FORCE: Heavy Snowfall Warnings lifted for Mid and North Canterbury, Marlborough, also the hills and ranges of Manawatu, Wanganui, Taihape, Taupo and Taranaki.

CommentMetService SEVERE WEATHER WARNING issued at 6:58 am 01-Jun-2009: Cold southerly flow and showers in the east of the North Island easing slowly today with snow levels rising. No further heavy snow expected. WARNINGS NO LONGER IN FORCE: Heavy Snowfall Warnings lifted for hills and ranges of Wellington, Wairarapa, Hawkes Bay and Gisborne.

CauseA strong southerly flow moved up the country, coming from almost on the ice caps.

North Island

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at North Island
Comments:

Affected LifelineState Highway 5 between Napier and Taupo was closed north of Te Pohue for an hour from about 8pm on the 31st due to snow and ice. The road was able to reopen after calcium magnesium acetate (CMA) was used to de-ice the road.

Affected LifelineState Highway 2 was closed from the start of the Waioeka Gorge to 9 km south of Matawai on the night of the 31st due to snow, slips and a fallen tree. The road was re-opened at about 12:15pm on the 1st.

CommentSnow fell on the Kaimai Range on 1st June.

South Island

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at South Island
Comments:

CommentStrong southerlies and snow showers battered the South Island on the 30th and 31st.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice
Comments:

CommentSnow fell from Southland to Kaikoura on the 31st.

Affected LifelineState Highway 7 through the Lewis Pass was closed to towing vehicles.

Auckland

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Auckland
Comments:

DamageSeveral trees were brought down by bad weather in Auckland on the 31st.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal
Comments:

ImpactThe Coastguard Northern Region received a record number of calls on the 31st, for incidents including capsized yachts, people in the water, shredded sails and vessels on the rocks.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Waitemata Harbour
Map Location: -36.831068 174.743854
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicWaitemata Harbour recorded winds of nearly 50 knots (93 km/hr) on the 31st.

Waikato

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Benneydale
Map Location: -38.523405 175.366672
Comments:

CasualtiesFour people, a 29-year-old man, a 30-year-old woman, a 9-year-old girl, and a 61-year-old woman, were killed on the 31st after two cars collided on State Highway 30, 11km east of Benneydale, at about 2pm. Bad weather conditions were believed to be a major factor in the crash, with heavy rain and mist present at the time. Poor weather also prevented air ambulances from Rotorua and Taupo from flying to the scene.

InjuriesA 63-year-old man incloved in the accident had to undergo surgery for his injuries. A four-year-old boy and his 10-year-old brother were also taken to hospital with injuries described as life-threatening.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Coromandel Range
Map Location: -37.096559 175.696394
Comments:

CommentSnow fell on the Coromandel Range on 1st June.

Gisborne

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Matawai
Map Location: -38.356439 177.53729
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicMore than 20 cm of snow blanketed Matawai from about 5pm on the 31st.

ImpactAt Matawai, the hotel, coffee lounge, bar, dairy, camping ground and community hall were closed because of the snow on 1st June.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Traffords Hill
Map Location: -38.359584 177.445845
Comments:

ImpactSome vehicles got stuck in the snow on Traffords Hill at the end of the gorge.

Hawke's Bay

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Hawke's Bay
Comments:

CommentOn the 31st, snow was reported in Hawke's Bay from Wairoa in the north through to Dannevirke.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicHawke's Bay recorded temperatures of around 1 degC and 2 degC on 1st June.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Elsthorpe
Map Location: -39.91554 176.818506
Comments:

CommentSnow was reported at Elsthorpe.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Havelock North
Map Location: -39.673179 176.882039
Comments:

CommentSnow was reported at the Triple Peaks in Havelock North.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Kaiwaka station
Map Location: -39.306444 176.808684
Comments:

CommentSnow was reported at Kaiwaka.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Napier
Map Location: -39.502426 176.892804
Comments:

CommentLight snow flurries were reported in central Napier at about 8:30pm and 10pm on the 31st.

CommentA Napier Hill resident of 23 years said she had never experienced snow there before.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicNapier recorded a temperature of 4 degC on the 31st, with a wind chill of around 0 degC to -2 degC.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Te Mata Peak
Map Location: -39.701987 176.909923
Comments:

CommentSnow fell as low as Te Mata Peak (399 m) on the 31st.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Waipawa
Map Location: -39.940581 176.600338
Comments:

CommentAt Waipawa, light snow flurries started around mid-afternoon on the 31st, with heavier falls from 4:30pm that continued into the night.

CommentLight snow coated the hills leading out to the coast near Waipawa on the morning of the 1st.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Waipukurau
Map Location: -39.999445 176.562423
Comments:

CommentPolice reported blizzard-like conditions between Norsewood and Waipukurau on the 31st.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Wairoa
Map Location: -39.041861 177.423248
Comments:

CommentSnow was reported at Wairoa.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Mokoia
Map Location: -39.625486 174.363237
Comments:

Affected LifelineThe Tangahoe Bridge on State Highway 3 was closed to heavy vehicles on 1st June.

Taranaki

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Inglewood
Map Location: -39.163073 174.187246
Comments:

CommentSleet fell in Inglewood on the 31st.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at New Plymouth
Map Location: -39.051214 174.06972
Comments:

ImpactTwo 17-year-old girls had to be rescued after they started drifting out to sea in a kayak off East End beach on the 31st. The weather conditions were atrocious, with howling southerlies.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Stratford
Map Location: -39.343721 174.267614
Comments:

CommentSleet fell in Stratford on the 31st.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Urenui
Map Location: -38.997709 174.384059
Comments:

ImpactA car lost control and crashed at Urenui on a road with black ice.

Manawatu-Wanganui

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Desert Road
Map Location: -39.30009 175.73859
Comments:

Affected LifelineThe Desert Road (State Highway 1) between Waiouru and Rangipo was closed on the morning of the 1st due to heavy ice on parts of the road.

FogFog
Comments:

Affected LifelineFog on the Desert Road made driving conditions difficult on the evening of the 1st. Visibility fell to just metres around the summit of the road.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicThe Desert Road recorded a minimum temperature of -4 degC on the 1st.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Norsewood
Map Location: -40.070333 176.220649
Comments:

CommentLight snow flurries fell at Norsewood from about 1:30pm on the 31st, followed by a heavy fall for an hour from 4pm.

Physical CharacteristicMost of the ground was covered in about 5 cm of snow.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Palmerston North
Map Location: -40.355525 175.616438
Comments:

CommentLight snow fell in Palmerston North on 1st June.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Waiouru
Map Location: -39.466728 175.685937
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicWaiouru recorded a temperature of 0 degC at lunchtime on the 31st.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice
Comments:

CommentWaiouru experienced snow flurries on the 31st.

Wellington

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Wellington
Comments:

CommentWellington experiened bitterly cold winds, showers and hail.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice
Comments:

CommentSnow dusted the hills around Wellington on the 31st and fell to sea level along the south coast. Snowfalls were also reported on the Kapiti Coast.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicWellington had southerly gales gusting close to 120 km/hr on the 31st.

HailHail
Comments:

CommentHeavy hail fell around Wellington mid afternoon on the 31st.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Johnsonville
Map Location: -41.222057 174.79585
Comments:

CommentSnow fell in gutters and on hilltops around Johnsonville and Whitby. Falls were also reported on the Kapiti Coast.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Karori
Map Location: -41.287365 174.736134
Comments:

CommentSnow fell in gutters and on hilltops around Karori.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Khandallah
Map Location: -41.247302 174.79415
Comments:

CommentSnow fell in gutters and on hilltops around Khandallah.

HailHail at Lower Hutt
Map Location: -41.216677 174.934068
Comments:

CommentHail fell at Lower Hutt on the 31st.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Masterton
Map Location: -40.964296 175.667649
Comments:

CommentSome parts of Masterton received a light fall of snow on the 31st.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicMasterton Airport recorded a minimum temperature of 0 degC early on the 31st.

Physical CharacteristicMasterton Airport recorded a maximum temperature of 7 degC on the 31st.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Mount Bruce
Map Location: -40.751506 175.596369
Comments:

CommentPaddocks and hills surrounding State Highway 2 at Mount Bruce were coated in snow.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Porirua
Map Location: -41.141089 174.818671
Comments:

CommentSnow was reported at Porirua.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Rimutaka Hill
Map Location: -41.119029 175.230172
Comments:

Affected LifelineThere was snow and ice on the Rimutaka Hill Road on State Highway 2.

Physical CharacteristicRimutaka Hill had about 10 cm of snow on the night of the 31st.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicAt the top of the Rimutaka Hill, a temperature of 1 degC was recorded at midday on the 31st.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Upper Hutt
Map Location: -41.139372 175.055716
Comments:

CommentSnow was reported at Upper Hutt.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Wellington City
Map Location: -41.28855 174.776764
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicWellington recorded a temperature of 3.7 degC at lunchtime on the 31st, with a wind chill of -5 degC.

Physical CharacteristicWellington recorded a minimum temperature of 3.5 degC on the 31st.

CommentWellington's CBD experienced snow flurries on the 31st - the first in 14 years.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Whitby
Map Location: -41.113346 174.891747
Comments:

CommentSnow fell in gutters and on hilltops around Whitby.

Marlborough

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Blenheim
Map Location: -41.517124 173.949021
Comments:

CommentSnow flurries were reported in Blenheim on the 31st.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicBlenheim recorded a minimum temperature of -4.5 degC overnight on the 31st/1st.

Physical CharacteristicBlenheim recorded a temperature of -4 degC at 8am on the 1st.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Molesworth station
Map Location: -42.085266 173.252655
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicMolesworth Station received 7-10 cm of snow on the 31st.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Mount Adde
Map Location: -41.652044 174.020613
Comments:

CommentThe Mt Adde farm in the Awatere Valley received a thick coating of snow on the 31st.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Picton
Map Location: -41.295063 174.011495
Comments:

CommentSnow flurries were reported in Picton on the 31st.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Wither Hills
Map Location: -41.558739 173.980195
Comments:

CommentWither Hills received a fall of snow mid-afternoon on the 31st.

Canterbury

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Canterbury
Comments:

CommentSnow settled to about 200m around Canterbury on the 31st.

Physical CharacteristicNorthern Canterbury recorded 5-10 cm of snow on the 31st.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Arthur's Pass
Map Location: -42.943869 171.566812
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicArthur's Pass recorded a minimum temperature of -5.8 degC on the 1st.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Christchurch
Map Location: -43.53112 172.636147
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicChristchurch recorded a temperature of 2 degC at 12pm on the 31st, with a wind chill of -6 degC.

Physical CharacteristicChristchurch recorded a maximum temperature of 5 degC on the 31st.

CommentHail and sleet fell in Christchurch on the 31st.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Kaikoura
Map Location: -42.402255 173.685685
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicKaikoura recorded a maximum temperature of 4 degC on the 31st.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Mount Hutt Skifield
Map Location: -43.495213 171.524135
Comments:

CommentMount Hutt Skifield opened on the 30th - its earliest opening in 15 years.

ImpactMount Hutt Skifield was closed for the day on the 31st due to gale force winds and poor visibility.

Physical CharacteristicMount Hutt Skifield received 5-10 cm of snow overnight on the 30th/31st.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Mount Peel
Map Location: -43.846424 171.156692
Comments:

CasualtiesAn 18-year-old boy died after apparently slipping on snow and tumbling down a 200m slope while hunting in The Blue Slips area, near Mt Peel, on the afternoon of the 31st. His body was found at 5:30pm.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Oxford
Map Location: -43.296138 172.188342
Comments:

CommentAt Oxford, blizzard conditions were reported on the 31st, with moderate snow falls and high winds.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Springfield
Map Location: -43.334894 171.921445
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicSpringfield had about 8 cm of snow on the ground on the 31st.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Timaru
Map Location: -44.398445 171.2552
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicTimaru recorded a maximum temperature of 6 degC on the 31st.

Otago

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Otago
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicEastern Otago recorded 5-10 cm of snow on the 31st.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Dunedin
Map Location: -45.87911 170.502707
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicDunedin recorded a maximum temperature of 7 degC on the 31st.

References

Headline: North Islanders will be treated to more bitterly cold weather.
www.3news.co.nz, Source: RadioLIVE, 31 May 2009, 10:13am.
Headline: Cold blast expected over next 12 hours.
www.3news.co.nz, Source: 3 News, 31 May 2009, 5:12pm.
Headline: De-icing keeps Napier-Taupo Highway open.
www.3news.co.nz, Source: NZPA, 1 June 2009, 8:39pm.
Headline: Teenager dies hunting in South Canterbury.
www.3news.co.nz, Source: NZPA, 2 June 2009, 9:43am.
Headline: Winter hits early with heavy snow.
www.hbtoday.co.nz, 1 June 2009.
Headline: 'Frosty, settled' weather ahead.
www.hbtoday.co.nz, Source: Roger Maroney, 2 June 2009.
Headline: Queen's Birthday Weekend chill forecast.
www.newstalkzb.co.nz, 29 May 2009, 12:36pm.
Headline: Polar weather for holiday.
www.newstalkzb.co.nz, 30 May 2009, 10:20am.
Headline: Weather blamed for crash that kills four.
www.newstalkzb.co.nz, 30 May 2009, 5:12pm.
Headline: Winds and poor visibility close Mt Hutt today.
www.newstalkzb.co.nz, 31 May 2009, 8:20am.
Headline: Cold snap moves up country.
www.newstalkzb.co.nz, 31 May 2009, 8:32am.
Headline: Cold snap moves north.
www.newstalkzb.co.nz, 31 May 2009, 5:08pm.
Headline: Weather factor in crash.
www.newstalkzb.co.nz, 31 May 2009, 6:12pm.
Headline: Desert Road closed.
www.newstalkzb.co.nz, 1 June 2009, 2:08pm.
Headline: Wintry blast moves up NZ, bringing bitter cold.
www.nzherald.co.nz, Source: Alice Neville, NZ Herald staff and WeatherWatch, 31 May 2009, 1:16pm.
Headline: Weather adds to grim toll.
www.nzherald.co.nz, Source: Isaac Davison, 2 June 2009, 4:00am.
Headline: Winter's icy chill sign of things to come.
www.nzherald.co.nz, Source: Isaac Davison and Alanah May Eriksen, 2 June 2009, 4:00am.
Headline: Young man dies in fall while hunting tahr alone.
www.odt.co.nz, 3 June 2009, 5:00am.
Headline: North Island motorists warned of severe weather conditions.
www.radionz.co.nz, 31 May, 5:08pm.
Headline: Dangerous roads as icy blast heads north.
www.radionz.co.nz, 31 May, 9:40pm.
Headline: Fog blanketing part of Desert Road.
www.radionz.co.nz, 1 June 2009, 6:13pm.
Headline: Four killed in car crash.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: NZPA, 30 May 2009, 3:22pm.
Headline: Cold snap hits south, moves north.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: Chris Schulz, 31 May 2009, 4:26pm.
Headline: Wintry conditions close roads.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: NZPA, 1 June 2009, 9:14am.
Headline: Alpine blasts go downtown.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: Dominion Post, Kay Blundell, 1 June 2009, 6:00am.
Headline: White stuff heralds the coming of winter.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: Marlborough Express, Jo Gilbert and Fairfax, 1 June 2009, 1:13pm.
Headline: Perfect early opening to ski season.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: The Press, Paul Gorman, 1 June 2009, 6:00am.
Headline: Teenagers lucky to be alive: Howling gales push their kayak offshore.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: Taranaki Daily News, Glenn McLean, 1 June 2009, 6:00am.
Headline: Hundreds hit slopes for big weekend.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: Taranaki Daily News, Glenn McLean, 2 June 2009, 5:00am.
Headline: It's official, winter is here.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: Taranaki Daily News, Fairfax, 2 June 2009, 5:00am.
Headline: 'Unusual' chill set to ease.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: The Timaru Herald, Al Williams and Fairfax, 1 June 2009, 6:00am.
Headline: Death at Mt Peel.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: The Timaru Herald, 2 June 2009, 5:00am.
Headline: Helpers at crash praised.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: The Waikato Times, Belinda Feek, 1 June 2009, 1:03pm.
Headline: Warning for boaties to check forecast.
tvnz.co.nz, Source: Newstalk ZB, 31 May 2009, 9:26pm.
Headline: Wintry blast coats some Masterton streets with snow.
www.times-age.co.nz, Source: Wairarapa Times-Age, 2 June 2009.
MetService Email Lists

ModerateMay 2009 Lower North Island and South Island Snow ( 2009-05-30 )

Snow fell to low levels in parts of the central and lower North Island and the South Island. Hail and strong southerly winds were also experienced. A teenager died while hunting in the snow in Canterbury. In the Waikato, four people died and three were injured in a car crash in poor weather conditions.

New Zealand

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Duration:   3  days - From the 30th May to the 1st June.
Comments:

CommentMetService SEVERE WEATHER WARNING issued at 12:27 pm 29-May-2009: Wintry spell on Sunday with snow to sea level from Southland to the Kaikoura coast and to low levels on the hills in the south of east of the North Island. Includes HEAVY SNOW WARNING for: Southland, Otago, Canterbury, Marlborough, hills of Wellington, Wairarapa, Hawkes Bay and Gisborne, also inland areas of southern, eastern and central parts of the North Island.

CommentMetService SEVERE WEATHER WARNING issued at 7:59 pm 29-May-2009: Wintry spell on Sunday with snow down to sea level from Southland to the Kaikoura coast. Snow down to unusually low levels over the North Island with heavy falls expected in the south and east. Includes HEAVY SNOW WARNING for: Southland, Otago, Canterbury, Marlborough, also hills and ranges of Wellington, Wairarapa, Hawkes Bay, Gisborne, Manawatu, Wanganui, Taihape, Taranaki and Taupo.

CommentMetService SEVERE WEATHER WARNING issued at 8:09 am 30-May-2009: Very cold southerly outbreak over New Zealand on Sunday. Snow down to sea level from Southland to the Kaikoura coast. Snow down to unusually low levels over the North Island with some heavy falls expected in the south and east. Includes HEAVY SNOW WARNING for: Southland, Otago, Canterbury, Marlborough, also hills and ranges of Wellington, Wairarapa, Hawkes Bay, Gisborne, Manawatu, Wanganui, Taihape, Taranaki and Taupo.

CommentMetService SEVERE WEATHER WARNING issued at 8:41 pm 30-May-2009: Very cold southerly outbreak over New Zealand on Sunday. Snow down to sea level from Southland to the Kaikoura coast. Snow down to unusually low levels over the North Island with some heavy falls in the south and east. Includes HEAVY SNOW WARNING for: Southland, Otago, Canterbury, Marlborough, also the hills and ranges of Wellington, Wairarapa, Hawkes Bay, Gisborne, Manawatu, Wanganui, Taihape, Taupo and Taranaki.

CommentMetService SEVERE WEATHER WARNING issued at 8:02 am 31-May-2009: Very cold southerly outbreak over New Zealand today. Snow down to near sea level from Southland to Kaikoura coast. Snow down to unusually low levels over the North Island with some heavy falls in the south and east. Includes HEAVY SNOW WARNING for: Southland, Otago, Canterbury, Marlborough, also the hills and ranges of Wellington, Wairarapa, Hawkes Bay, Gisborne, Manawatu, Wanganui, Taihape, Taupo and Taranaki.

CommentMetService SEVERE WEATHER WARNING issued at 5:02 pm 31-May-2009: Very cold southerly outbreak over New Zealand today. Snow down to near sea level in the east of the South Island. Snow down to unusually low levels over the North Island with some heavy falls in the east. Includes HEAVY SNOW WARNING for: Canterbury, Marlborough, also the hills and ranges of Wellington, Wairarapa, Hawkes Bay, Gisborne, Manawatu, Wanganui, Taihape, Taupo and Taranaki. WARNINGS NO LONGER IN FORCE: Heavy Snowfall Warnings lifted for Southland, Otago and South Canterbury.

CommentMetService SEVERE WEATHER WARNING issued at 8:26 pm 31-May-2009: Very cold southerly outbreak over New Zealand slowly easing overnight and Monday morning. Further heavy snow possible about the hills and ranges from Wellington and Wairarapa up to Gisborne. Includes HEAVY SNOW WARNING for: hills and ranges of Wellington, Wairarapa, Hawkes Bay and Gisborne. WARNINGS NO LONGER IN FORCE: Heavy Snowfall Warnings lifted for Mid and North Canterbury, Marlborough, also the hills and ranges of Manawatu, Wanganui, Taihape, Taupo and Taranaki.

CommentMetService SEVERE WEATHER WARNING issued at 6:58 am 01-Jun-2009: Cold southerly flow and showers in the east of the North Island easing slowly today with snow levels rising. No further heavy snow expected. WARNINGS NO LONGER IN FORCE: Heavy Snowfall Warnings lifted for hills and ranges of Wellington, Wairarapa, Hawkes Bay and Gisborne.

CauseA strong southerly flow moved up the country, coming from almost on the ice caps.

North Island

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at North Island
Comments:

Affected LifelineState Highway 5 between Napier and Taupo was closed north of Te Pohue for an hour from about 8pm on the 31st due to snow and ice. The road was able to reopen after calcium magnesium acetate (CMA) was used to de-ice the road.

Affected LifelineState Highway 2 was closed from the start of the Waioeka Gorge to 9 km south of Matawai on the night of the 31st due to snow, slips and a fallen tree. The road was re-opened at about 12:15pm on the 1st.

CommentSnow fell on the Kaimai Range on 1st June.

South Island

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at South Island
Comments:

CommentStrong southerlies and snow showers battered the South Island on the 30th and 31st.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice
Comments:

CommentSnow fell from Southland to Kaikoura on the 31st.

Affected LifelineState Highway 7 through the Lewis Pass was closed to towing vehicles.

Auckland

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Auckland
Comments:

DamageSeveral trees were brought down by bad weather in Auckland on the 31st.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal
Comments:

ImpactThe Coastguard Northern Region received a record number of calls on the 31st, for incidents including capsized yachts, people in the water, shredded sails and vessels on the rocks.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Waitemata Harbour
Map Location: -36.831068 174.743854
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicWaitemata Harbour recorded winds of nearly 50 knots (93 km/hr) on the 31st.

Waikato

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Benneydale
Map Location: -38.523405 175.366672
Comments:

CasualtiesFour people, a 29-year-old man, a 30-year-old woman, a 9-year-old girl, and a 61-year-old woman, were killed on the 31st after two cars collided on State Highway 30, 11km east of Benneydale, at about 2pm. Bad weather conditions were believed to be a major factor in the crash, with heavy rain and mist present at the time. Poor weather also prevented air ambulances from Rotorua and Taupo from flying to the scene.

InjuriesA 63-year-old man incloved in the accident had to undergo surgery for his injuries. A four-year-old boy and his 10-year-old brother were also taken to hospital with injuries described as life-threatening.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Coromandel Range
Map Location: -37.096559 175.696394
Comments:

CommentSnow fell on the Coromandel Range on 1st June.

Gisborne

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Matawai
Map Location: -38.356439 177.53729
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicMore than 20 cm of snow blanketed Matawai from about 5pm on the 31st.

ImpactAt Matawai, the hotel, coffee lounge, bar, dairy, camping ground and community hall were closed because of the snow on 1st June.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Traffords Hill
Map Location: -38.359584 177.445845
Comments:

ImpactSome vehicles got stuck in the snow on Traffords Hill at the end of the gorge.

Hawke's Bay

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Hawke's Bay
Comments:

CommentOn the 31st, snow was reported in Hawke's Bay from Wairoa in the north through to Dannevirke.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicHawke's Bay recorded temperatures of around 1 degC and 2 degC on 1st June.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Elsthorpe
Map Location: -39.91554 176.818506
Comments:

CommentSnow was reported at Elsthorpe.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Havelock North
Map Location: -39.673179 176.882039
Comments:

CommentSnow was reported at the Triple Peaks in Havelock North.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Kaiwaka station
Map Location: -39.306444 176.808684
Comments:

CommentSnow was reported at Kaiwaka.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Napier
Map Location: -39.502426 176.892804
Comments:

CommentLight snow flurries were reported in central Napier at about 8:30pm and 10pm on the 31st.

CommentA Napier Hill resident of 23 years said she had never experienced snow there before.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicNapier recorded a temperature of 4 degC on the 31st, with a wind chill of around 0 degC to -2 degC.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Te Mata Peak
Map Location: -39.701987 176.909923
Comments:

CommentSnow fell as low as Te Mata Peak (399 m) on the 31st.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Waipawa
Map Location: -39.940581 176.600338
Comments:

CommentAt Waipawa, light snow flurries started around mid-afternoon on the 31st, with heavier falls from 4:30pm that continued into the night.

CommentLight snow coated the hills leading out to the coast near Waipawa on the morning of the 1st.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Waipukurau
Map Location: -39.999445 176.562423
Comments:

CommentPolice reported blizzard-like conditions between Norsewood and Waipukurau on the 31st.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Wairoa
Map Location: -39.041861 177.423248
Comments:

CommentSnow was reported at Wairoa.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Mokoia
Map Location: -39.625486 174.363237
Comments:

Affected LifelineThe Tangahoe Bridge on State Highway 3 was closed to heavy vehicles on 1st June.

Taranaki

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Inglewood
Map Location: -39.163073 174.187246
Comments:

CommentSleet fell in Inglewood on the 31st.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at New Plymouth
Map Location: -39.051214 174.06972
Comments:

ImpactTwo 17-year-old girls had to be rescued after they started drifting out to sea in a kayak off East End beach on the 31st. The weather conditions were atrocious, with howling southerlies.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Stratford
Map Location: -39.343721 174.267614
Comments:

CommentSleet fell in Stratford on the 31st.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Urenui
Map Location: -38.997709 174.384059
Comments:

ImpactA car lost control and crashed at Urenui on a road with black ice.

Manawatu-Wanganui

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Desert Road
Map Location: -39.30009 175.73859
Comments:

Affected LifelineThe Desert Road (State Highway 1) between Waiouru and Rangipo was closed on the morning of the 1st due to heavy ice on parts of the road.

FogFog
Comments:

Affected LifelineFog on the Desert Road made driving conditions difficult on the evening of the 1st. Visibility fell to just metres around the summit of the road.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicThe Desert Road recorded a minimum temperature of -4 degC on the 1st.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Norsewood
Map Location: -40.070333 176.220649
Comments:

CommentLight snow flurries fell at Norsewood from about 1:30pm on the 31st, followed by a heavy fall for an hour from 4pm.

Physical CharacteristicMost of the ground was covered in about 5 cm of snow.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Palmerston North
Map Location: -40.355525 175.616438
Comments:

CommentLight snow fell in Palmerston North on 1st June.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Waiouru
Map Location: -39.466728 175.685937
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicWaiouru recorded a temperature of 0 degC at lunchtime on the 31st.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice
Comments:

CommentWaiouru experienced snow flurries on the 31st.

Wellington

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Wellington
Comments:

CommentWellington experiened bitterly cold winds, showers and hail.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice
Comments:

CommentSnow dusted the hills around Wellington on the 31st and fell to sea level along the south coast. Snowfalls were also reported on the Kapiti Coast.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicWellington had southerly gales gusting close to 120 km/hr on the 31st.

HailHail
Comments:

CommentHeavy hail fell around Wellington mid afternoon on the 31st.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Johnsonville
Map Location: -41.222057 174.79585
Comments:

CommentSnow fell in gutters and on hilltops around Johnsonville and Whitby. Falls were also reported on the Kapiti Coast.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Karori
Map Location: -41.287365 174.736134
Comments:

CommentSnow fell in gutters and on hilltops around Karori.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Khandallah
Map Location: -41.247302 174.79415
Comments:

CommentSnow fell in gutters and on hilltops around Khandallah.

HailHail at Lower Hutt
Map Location: -41.216677 174.934068
Comments:

CommentHail fell at Lower Hutt on the 31st.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Masterton
Map Location: -40.964296 175.667649
Comments:

CommentSome parts of Masterton received a light fall of snow on the 31st.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicMasterton Airport recorded a minimum temperature of 0 degC early on the 31st.

Physical CharacteristicMasterton Airport recorded a maximum temperature of 7 degC on the 31st.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Mount Bruce
Map Location: -40.751506 175.596369
Comments:

CommentPaddocks and hills surrounding State Highway 2 at Mount Bruce were coated in snow.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Porirua
Map Location: -41.141089 174.818671
Comments:

CommentSnow was reported at Porirua.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Rimutaka Hill
Map Location: -41.119029 175.230172
Comments:

Affected LifelineThere was snow and ice on the Rimutaka Hill Road on State Highway 2.

Physical CharacteristicRimutaka Hill had about 10 cm of snow on the night of the 31st.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicAt the top of the Rimutaka Hill, a temperature of 1 degC was recorded at midday on the 31st.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Upper Hutt
Map Location: -41.139372 175.055716
Comments:

CommentSnow was reported at Upper Hutt.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Wellington City
Map Location: -41.28855 174.776764
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicWellington recorded a temperature of 3.7 degC at lunchtime on the 31st, with a wind chill of -5 degC.

Physical CharacteristicWellington recorded a minimum temperature of 3.5 degC on the 31st.

CommentWellington's CBD experienced snow flurries on the 31st - the first in 14 years.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Whitby
Map Location: -41.113346 174.891747
Comments:

CommentSnow fell in gutters and on hilltops around Whitby.

Marlborough

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Blenheim
Map Location: -41.517124 173.949021
Comments:

CommentSnow flurries were reported in Blenheim on the 31st.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicBlenheim recorded a minimum temperature of -4.5 degC overnight on the 31st/1st.

Physical CharacteristicBlenheim recorded a temperature of -4 degC at 8am on the 1st.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Molesworth station
Map Location: -42.085266 173.252655
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicMolesworth Station received 7-10 cm of snow on the 31st.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Mount Adde
Map Location: -41.652044 174.020613
Comments:

CommentThe Mt Adde farm in the Awatere Valley received a thick coating of snow on the 31st.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Picton
Map Location: -41.295063 174.011495
Comments:

CommentSnow flurries were reported in Picton on the 31st.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Wither Hills
Map Location: -41.558739 173.980195
Comments:

CommentWither Hills received a fall of snow mid-afternoon on the 31st.

Canterbury

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Canterbury
Comments:

CommentSnow settled to about 200m around Canterbury on the 31st.

Physical CharacteristicNorthern Canterbury recorded 5-10 cm of snow on the 31st.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Arthur's Pass
Map Location: -42.943869 171.566812
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicArthur's Pass recorded a minimum temperature of -5.8 degC on the 1st.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Christchurch
Map Location: -43.53112 172.636147
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicChristchurch recorded a temperature of 2 degC at 12pm on the 31st, with a wind chill of -6 degC.

Physical CharacteristicChristchurch recorded a maximum temperature of 5 degC on the 31st.

CommentHail and sleet fell in Christchurch on the 31st.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Kaikoura
Map Location: -42.402255 173.685685
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicKaikoura recorded a maximum temperature of 4 degC on the 31st.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Mount Hutt Skifield
Map Location: -43.495213 171.524135
Comments:

CommentMount Hutt Skifield opened on the 30th - its earliest opening in 15 years.

ImpactMount Hutt Skifield was closed for the day on the 31st due to gale force winds and poor visibility.

Physical CharacteristicMount Hutt Skifield received 5-10 cm of snow overnight on the 30th/31st.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Mount Peel
Map Location: -43.846424 171.156692
Comments:

CasualtiesAn 18-year-old boy died after apparently slipping on snow and tumbling down a 200m slope while hunting in The Blue Slips area, near Mt Peel, on the afternoon of the 31st. His body was found at 5:30pm.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Oxford
Map Location: -43.296138 172.188342
Comments:

CommentAt Oxford, blizzard conditions were reported on the 31st, with moderate snow falls and high winds.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Springfield
Map Location: -43.334894 171.921445
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicSpringfield had about 8 cm of snow on the ground on the 31st.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Timaru
Map Location: -44.398445 171.2552
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicTimaru recorded a maximum temperature of 6 degC on the 31st.

Otago

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Otago
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicEastern Otago recorded 5-10 cm of snow on the 31st.

Snow / IceSnow / Ice at Dunedin
Map Location: -45.87911 170.502707
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicDunedin recorded a maximum temperature of 7 degC on the 31st.

References

Headline: North Islanders will be treated to more bitterly cold weather.
www.3news.co.nz, Source: RadioLIVE, 31 May 2009, 10:13am.
Headline: Cold blast expected over next 12 hours.
www.3news.co.nz, Source: 3 News, 31 May 2009, 5:12pm.
Headline: De-icing keeps Napier-Taupo Highway open.
www.3news.co.nz, Source: NZPA, 1 June 2009, 8:39pm.
Headline: Teenager dies hunting in South Canterbury.
www.3news.co.nz, Source: NZPA, 2 June 2009, 9:43am.
Headline: Winter hits early with heavy snow.
www.hbtoday.co.nz, 1 June 2009.
Headline: 'Frosty, settled' weather ahead.
www.hbtoday.co.nz, Source: Roger Maroney, 2 June 2009.
Headline: Queen's Birthday Weekend chill forecast.
www.newstalkzb.co.nz, 29 May 2009, 12:36pm.
Headline: Polar weather for holiday.
www.newstalkzb.co.nz, 30 May 2009, 10:20am.
Headline: Weather blamed for crash that kills four.
www.newstalkzb.co.nz, 30 May 2009, 5:12pm.
Headline: Winds and poor visibility close Mt Hutt today.
www.newstalkzb.co.nz, 31 May 2009, 8:20am.
Headline: Cold snap moves up country.
www.newstalkzb.co.nz, 31 May 2009, 8:32am.
Headline: Cold snap moves north.
www.newstalkzb.co.nz, 31 May 2009, 5:08pm.
Headline: Weather factor in crash.
www.newstalkzb.co.nz, 31 May 2009, 6:12pm.
Headline: Desert Road closed.
www.newstalkzb.co.nz, 1 June 2009, 2:08pm.
Headline: Wintry blast moves up NZ, bringing bitter cold.
www.nzherald.co.nz, Source: Alice Neville, NZ Herald staff and WeatherWatch, 31 May 2009, 1:16pm.
Headline: Weather adds to grim toll.
www.nzherald.co.nz, Source: Isaac Davison, 2 June 2009, 4:00am.
Headline: Winter's icy chill sign of things to come.
www.nzherald.co.nz, Source: Isaac Davison and Alanah May Eriksen, 2 June 2009, 4:00am.
Headline: Young man dies in fall while hunting tahr alone.
www.odt.co.nz, 3 June 2009, 5:00am.
Headline: North Island motorists warned of severe weather conditions.
www.radionz.co.nz, 31 May, 5:08pm.
Headline: Dangerous roads as icy blast heads north.
www.radionz.co.nz, 31 May, 9:40pm.
Headline: Fog blanketing part of Desert Road.
www.radionz.co.nz, 1 June 2009, 6:13pm.
Headline: Four killed in car crash.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: NZPA, 30 May 2009, 3:22pm.
Headline: Cold snap hits south, moves north.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: Chris Schulz, 31 May 2009, 4:26pm.
Headline: Wintry conditions close roads.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: NZPA, 1 June 2009, 9:14am.
Headline: Alpine blasts go downtown.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: Dominion Post, Kay Blundell, 1 June 2009, 6:00am.
Headline: White stuff heralds the coming of winter.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: Marlborough Express, Jo Gilbert and Fairfax, 1 June 2009, 1:13pm.
Headline: Perfect early opening to ski season.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: The Press, Paul Gorman, 1 June 2009, 6:00am.
Headline: Teenagers lucky to be alive: Howling gales push their kayak offshore.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: Taranaki Daily News, Glenn McLean, 1 June 2009, 6:00am.
Headline: Hundreds hit slopes for big weekend.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: Taranaki Daily News, Glenn McLean, 2 June 2009, 5:00am.
Headline: It's official, winter is here.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: Taranaki Daily News, Fairfax, 2 June 2009, 5:00am.
Headline: 'Unusual' chill set to ease.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: The Timaru Herald, Al Williams and Fairfax, 1 June 2009, 6:00am.
Headline: Death at Mt Peel.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: The Timaru Herald, 2 June 2009, 5:00am.
Headline: Helpers at crash praised.
www.stuff.co.nz, Source: The Waikato Times, Belinda Feek, 1 June 2009, 1:03pm.
Headline: Warning for boaties to check forecast.
tvnz.co.nz, Source: Newstalk ZB, 31 May 2009, 9:26pm.
Headline: Wintry blast coats some Masterton streets with snow.
www.times-age.co.nz, Source: Wairarapa Times-Age, 2 June 2009.
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