Taupo off to a sub-zero start

Taupo Times - - OUT & ABOUT - TOM HUNT

Parts of the lower North Is­land dropped be­low freez­ing early on Mon­day dur­ing what was likely Taupo’s cold­est night of 2017.

At 6am on Mon­day, Met­ser­vice recorded tem­per­a­tures of -3C in Taupo.

It was -2degC in Up­per Hutt, -1C in Wainuiomata, 0C in Porirua and Kapiti, while Lower Hutt got to 2C and Welling­ton city to 4C.

Palmer­ston North got to -1.3C, Master­ton in Wairarapa dropped to -1C, while Hast­ings and Napier in Hawke’s Bay got to 2C and 2.6C re­spec­tively.

Ac­cord­ing to Met­ser­vice, the chill was caused by a cold air mass from the south mixed with overnight cool­ing on a clear night.

While it was too early to say if the night was the cold­est yet in Welling­ton in 2017, that was ‘‘fairly likely’’, a Met­ser­vice spokesman said.

Mon­day was ex­pected to be fine but cold for most of New Zealand.

‘‘It is go­ing to be a cold and fresh start for a lot of peo­ple,’’ a Met­ser­vice spokesman said.

Ar­eas around Mt Ruapehu saw first snow fall of the year, just in time for the moun­tain’s open­ing on Queen’s Birth­day long week­end.

Roads in the cen­tral North Is­land were closed due to the snow fall and towns like Ohakune, Na­tional Park and Raetihi woke up to a win­ter won­der­land.

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