New Zealand Hit by Heavy Snowfall

World | August 16, 2011, Tuesday // 13:36|  views

New Zealand has been paralyzed by snow blizzardss, with more snowfalls expected in the next few days. Photo by

New Zealand fell in the grip of a big freeze as a rare weather front from the Antarctic dumped massive snowfall over huge areas of the country on Monday, closing roads, airports and schools.

The cities of Wellington and Auckland saw their first snow for decades after a cold blast from the Antarctic moved north from South Island during the weekend, with the cold snap predicted to continue until Wednesday.

Auckland has its coldest day on record Monday, with temperatures staying below 8.1 degrees Celsius, according to BBC.

MetService head forecaster, Peter Kreft, told the New Zealand Press Association: "It's a once in many decades event. We are probably looking at something like – in terms of extent and severity – maybe 50 years," he said.

Services across the country were disrupted on Monday, with thousands of homes in Wellington and north of Auckland suffering power outages.

Schools, universities and courts were closed across much of the lower South Island.

Flights and mail delivery had to be cancelled as well.

Police warned that the snow would freeze overnight and create unsafe driving conditions.

More snowfalls are expected and the country's Civil Defence is warning people to be prepared.

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Tags: New Zealand, Auckland, snowfall, snow storm, Antarctic


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