The NZ Transport Agency warns all drivers crossing the South Island’s alpine passes — Arthur's and Lewis Passes — as well as the Lindis Pass, South Canterbury, and the Haast Pass, to carry chains tonight and early tomorrow, as snow is forecast from late afternoon in some places.
“Please drive with care and keep safe following distances,” said Transport Agency Journey Manager Lee Wright.
Snow is also forecast for State Highway 1 Leith Saddle, Waitati to Dunedin early Friday and through the weekend. Check the Leith Saddle traffic web camera(external link).
Snow is also forecast throughout Southland and Otago so drivers should plan their journeys after checking weather forecasts.
People should check the Transport Agency’s traffic map(external link) and the MetService’s snow forecast(external link) pages before heading over the main passes.
The Milford Rd (State Highway 94 to Te Anau) is now closed all day due to snow and avalanche risk. The closure will be reviewed at 7.30am tomorrow morning (Friday 29 July). The Transport Agency’s traffic and travel map shows the status of this road and other state highway closures or known delays.
See the NZ Transport Agency's travel and traffic(external link) page.
MetService snow warnings(external link).
Latest South Island update from the MetService (midday, 28 July):
Snow is forecast to develop this evening. 10 to 15cm could fall on the summit by dawn Friday, with lesser amounts down to lower levels.
No road snowfall warning for Porters Pass.
Snow is forecast to develop this afternoon. 15 to 20cm could fall on the summit by dawn Friday, with lesser amounts down to lower levels.
Snow showers are likely down to 200 metres Friday morning and 1 to 3cm may settle about the top of the road.
Brief snow is possible this evening and 1 to 2cm may settle near the summit overnight.
Snow is forecast to develop this evening and 3 to 5cm may settle about the top of the pass overnight.
Snow is expected to develop this afternoon and 25 to 35cm is likely about the tunnel by dawn tomorrow with lesser amounts to lower levels.