Snow in New Zealand in middle of August, Closing Airports - 2011 (VIDEO)

From Suite101.com

Flights Cancelled After Heavy Snow in New Zealand

New Zealand is in the grip of a polar blast that has caused havoc across the country. Farmers are cut off and travelers stranded.

New Zealand is in the middle of what has been described as a significant weather event. Heavy snow has covered much of the South Island and also parts of the North Island that haven’t seen snow in decades.

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Summer Snow in New Zealand. Image:Barry Harcourt, The Southland Times

More Snow On The Way For New Zealand

Irish Weather On-Line By Fergal Tierney - Mon Aug 15, 9:56 am

A new blast of cold weather gripped New Zealand over the weekend as the coldest winter in many years continued to affect large swathes of the country. Snow is currently falling in the South Island and in southern parts of the North Island too, with the northern city of Auckland seeing its first snow since 1939. Sunday saw Wellington’s greatest snowfall for 30 years.

July 22 – 25th was previously the coldest snap since 1995, with snowfall causing disruption across the South Island and some parts of the North Island. Today’s snowfall been more widespread, however, and snow was reported down to sea level in the city of Wellington and other parts of the North Island. The New Zealand Met Serviceis predicting falls of 20 – 35 cm above 300 m in the Wellington area, with lesser falls continuing at lower levels.

Irish film-maker Ro Tierney shot the stunned Wellington residents’ reaction to the snow, with some of them having never witnessed it before.

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New Zealand blizzards 'heaviest in 50 years'

Wellington and Auckland blanketed by once-in-a-lifetime weather

Guardian.co.uk, Monday 15 August 2011 19.42 BST

Blizzards in New Zealand have grounded flights, closed roads and shut off power in what forecasters are describing as once-in-a-lifetime conditions.

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

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 electricity cut to thousands of homes in Wellington and north of Auckland. 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.

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