You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Mercury hits minus-21C in south Canterbury

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 24/06/2015
Snow © Getty Images Snow

Record cold continues to sweep parts of the South Island, the MetService says.

Residents in the south Canterbury township of Omarama braved temperatures of -21C on Wednesday morning, the coldest day there since records began in 1950.

The previous record was -17.5C in July 1968, the MetService said.

But it still doesn't come close to New Zealand's coldest-ever temperature of -25.6C at Ranfurly in 1903.

Snow in the Mackenzie basin Cold blast hits the South Island

Nearby, those living in Tara Hills in Otago woke on Wednesday morning to a temperature of -18.9C.

It was -14C at Mount Cook at 6.40am while Queenstown and Dunedin had plunged to below -6C by the early morning.

By midday, temperatures in most coastal towns in the south had managed to climb to above 0C but inland Otago still had cold patches of as low as -14C.

On Tuesday, the mercury got to -19.8C at Pukaki.

But the MetService is also warning heavy wind and rain are on the way to the South Island on Thursday, with snow expected in inland parts of Otago.

The winter chill is expected to begin easing on Sunday, it said.

The New Zealand Transport Agency has urged all drivers in the South Island to be cautious of ice on roads.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon