Extreme Weather 

New Zealand’s Polar Blast: Ski Fields Shut, Ferry Crossings Stopped

A blast of polar weather is battering New Zealand bringing torrential rain, damaging winds, large hail and heavy snow.

The rain has already triggered two minor landslides in the Wellington area with more downpours expected.

And the snow has closed Mt Hutt, Mt Cheeseman, Mt Lyford, Canterbury and Porters ski fields.

Mt Hutt ski field manager James McKenzie said their road clearing crew was working hard to get the resort open as quickly as possible.

Mt Lyford ski field manager Hamish Simpson said he was expecting a whopping 80cm of fresh snow to fall which was “pretty exciting”.

Persistent strong winds, rain, hail and snow have also stopped ferry crossings between the North and South Islands.

In a statement, KiwiRail said it was aware of the forecasts and has stopped crossings as a precaution.

The wintery blast making its way up the country has caused problems for sheep farmers in the middle of lambing.

The rest of the week is forecast to remain unsettled, with plenty of cold, wet and windy weather on the cards.

GSM

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