Summertime dusting of snow surprises towns

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Dreaming of a white Christmas came close in Central Otago last week when unseasonable snow fell.

Snow was also reported across Maniototo, at Wedderburn, Oturehua, Naseby, and St Bathans on Friday.

Central Otago district councillor Stu Duncan, who farms at Wedderburn, said the cold snap came as a surprise.

He had planned to make hay on Thursday, but at more than 30degC it was too hot.

His hay-making plans were halted again yesterday, after snow started falling.

By 10.30am, the temperature was 4.7degC and the north Rough Ridge hill range was white, he said.

‘‘They forecast 3mm of rain, but I didn’t expect snow.’’

At the landmark Vulcan Hotel in St Bathans, manager Wanda Grant said the snow was on par with what the tiny settlement could expect in winter, but was shortlived and conditions had returned to near normal by noon.

‘‘The sun is shining now and it’s [the snow] melting fairly quickly.’’

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