Snow is falling on a number of alpine passes and more is on the way, possibly to as low as sea level in some parts.
Metservice is forecasting a rapidly deepening low will move across central New Zealand from the west today and early tomorrow bringing heavy snow to low levels from Taihape to Canterbury, and possibly severe gale southerlies for central areas.
Snow is already blanketing the Crown Range as well as the Porters, Lewis and Burkes passes.
The snow is causing disruption on a number of South Island highways this morning.
SH73 Porters Pass is closed to all vehicles.
Milford Rd (SH94) is closed between Hollyford Rd (East Gate) and Chasm (West Gate). It is expected to reopen later this morning.
SH7 Hanmer Turnoff to Springs Junction (Lewis Pass) is closed and an update is expected at 12pm.
The heaviest snow is expected in northern Canterbury and southern Marlborough above 200m.
Coal Stream, Canterbury on Sunday. Photo / Supplied
A heavy snow warning is in place for Marlborough, south of Seddon, and Canterbury, north of the Rakaia River but excluding Christchurch and Banks Peninsula from 8am to 8pm today.
Metservice says snow is possible to sea level, and is expected to become heavy inland above about 200m where
Halfway between Geraldine and Fairlie. Photo / Supplied
Snow showers are likely to sea level tonight and tomorrow morning, which may affect Christchurch and Banks Peninsula.
Heavy snow watches are in place for Taihape (300m), Marlborough about and north of Seddon, Nelson and Buller (200m), as well as the Tararua and Remutaka ranges, including the Remutaka Hill Rd (200m).
☃ Crown Range Road Snowfall ☃
With the sun rising, we can see in our webcams that many alpine areas have already received a good amount of snow.
We have active Road Snowfall Warnings for all major alpine passes. Full details at: https://t.co/qHyE5zhh6X ^Ash pic.twitter.com/z2m64OK0U2
— MetService (@MetService) August 7, 2021