MetService has issued a number of severe weather warnings for the next few days. Possible heavy snow and severe winds have been predicted for both the North and South Islands.
Bitterly cold conditions across much of the South Island are expected as well as snow affecting many roads and passes making driving conditions hazardous. Strong winds are expected in the Wairarapa (including the Tararua District), south of Napier in the Hawke’s Bay, and the south west coast of Wellington. Heavy rainfall is also predicted for central North Island’s Napier to Taupo Road (SH5) and Desert Road (SH1), as well as Remutaka Hill Road (SH2) in Wellington, Lewis Pass (SH7), Arthur’s Pass (SH73), Lindis Pass (SH8), Crown Range Road, Milford Road (SH94), and the Dunedin to Waitati Highway (SH1).
Police recommends staying off the roads during severe weather conditions but if you do have to travel, first check to see if your journey has been impacted. The Waka Kotahi (NZ Transport Agency) website and App advises road closures and provides real time traffic updates.
If the weather is bad and your travel can’t be put off, allow extra time for your journey.
Roads can become icy and slick when it’s cold so remember to increase the following distance between you and the car in front to ensure you have enough time to stop safely.
When you’re on a wet, icy, or snowy road, it’s important not to brake suddenly or to accelerate quickly, as you could aquaplane or skid.
Plan to drive in the middle of the day or in daylight hours, when visibility is better and ice and snow are less likely to be on the road.
Avoid driving at night, when hazards rapidly multiply.
In these situations, more than ever, driving to the conditions is crucial. Slow down to arrive alive.