New Zealand is getting blasted by a winter storm that is dropping feet of snow on the Southern Alps. The forecast is calling for up to 100cms (40″) of snow and 120kph (75mph) winds in the mountains. Mt Hutt is already reporting snowfall totals of over 36″ and the storm is still raging.
Mt Hutt via Facebook Update:
“SNOW SNOW SNOW since 12pm Thursday – we have received 90cm and there’s more to come…. it’s crazy and awesome! Given the significant snow accumulation, natural avalanches are now releasing left, right and centre. Strong winds about the tops will further exacerbate the avalanche risk so we have decided to close the mountain tomorrow. Needless to say, we will throw every resource we have at getting the moutain open on Saturday.”
Coronet Peak ski area manager Ross Copland said that, “This is shaping up to be the biggest single dump we’ve had since 2010. At peak intensity 5cm per hour was dumping on us this morning. Conditions on the mountain are incredible, all trails are blanketed in a deep layer of light dry powder”.