Aucklands coldest night: Mercury hits zero on freezing night

Auckland is waking to the coldest morning of the year, with sub-zero temperatures and frosts coating lawns, windscreens and rooftops across the city.

MetService duty forecaster Gerard Bellam said the Antarctic storm had covered the country in cold dry air. Coupled with a still night this made for ideal conditions for a rare northern frost.

Temperatures across Auckland had fallen below zero before dawn.

In West Auckland the weather station at Whenuapai was registering -.3C at 5am and at Ardmore, in east Auckland, the mercury was sitting at 0C.

Bellam said even the winterless north would wake to frosts with main centres Kaitaia on 2C and Whangarei on 2.7C.

The coldest temperatures for the country were reserved for the South Island, with St Arnaud in Nelson Lakes National Park recording a bitterly cold -4.9Cand Twizel, -4.2C.

Bellam said the polar blast had by and large cleared the country, with just a few snow flurries on the Remutaka Hill Rd and in Gisborne region overnight.

However a few showers would skim the eastern coastlines of both islands across the day.

“We’re still just getting some residual showers around in the south and east of the South Island and skimming up the east coast of the North Island with a little surge of a showers coming back into Wellington this evening, but basically most of that has moved off shore.”

He warned that giant swells would be pulsing up from Wairarapa through to Gisborne across the day.

Southern and eastern coastal parts of Wellington remained under a local state of emergency and a heavy swell warning remained in force for Wellington until 11pm.

The Desert Rd and SH87 in Otago remained closed this morning because of snow and ice.

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