Polar Blast Hits New Zealand

19 June 2013

Weather worries: Residents urged to stay indoors


Snow on the ground at Wreys Bush, Southland, only an hour after the snow began to fall. Photo / Alison Clark

Flights have been cancelled due to wild weather as the first snow of a polar blast set to hit the entire country fell in Southland this afternoon.

Heavy snow and severe gales are anticipated in many regions over the next two days, prompting a special weather advisory to be slapped on the whole country.

Electricity companies have warned of possible power cuts, emergency refuge centres have been set up, and shoppers are being urged to stock up but refrain from panic buying.

Police are warning drivers that insurers won't pay out claims to drivers who ignore road closure notices - and have warned motorists using roads that remain open to be wary of snow and black ice.