Snow wonder: Southern ski fields buzzing with early dumping

Winter has came slightly early for southern ski fields.

Cardrona, Treble Cone and The Remarkables all woke to find fresh snow on the mountains yesterday — and a forecast indicating more is coming.

At Cardrona Alpine Resort, about 10cm fell yesterday. Communications executive Jen Houltham said more was forecast from tomorrow night.

At Queenstown’s The Remarkables ski area, about 1cm had settled at the base by about 10am. Ski area manager Ross Lawrence said up to 15cm more was forecast to fall by this morning.

Cardrona is scheduled to open on June 12, followed by Coronet Peak on June 19. The Remarkables and Treble Cone are both scheduled to open on June 26.

As well as snow in the south, stormy weather on the West Coast has brought thunder and lightning. A total of 541 strikes have been recorded near or above the area since Monday. Heavy rain watches were in place for the ranges of Buller and Westland, from Otira northwards.

MetService said more wintry weather was on the way for the south. Northwest gales are forecast for Fiordland, Southland and Clutha tomorrow, extending to Otago on Friday.

Fine spells with isolated showers are expected over much of the north of the country, MetService says.

From Northland to Taumarunui, including Coromandel, Bay of Plenty and Taupō, expect showers to become widespread and heavy for a time from late morning until evening with hail, and squally thunderstorms possible.

Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay should be fine at first, with a few showers from the afternoon, possibly heavy and thundery with hail.

From Taranaki to Wellington, including Taihape and Wairarapa, showers are also expected, mainly in the west, with hail and possible thunderstorms. But a fine evening is expected.

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