A ski area in New Zealand has announced it plans to open more than three months before the scheduled start date of its 2019 ski season, following a freak summer snow storm.

It’s currently the final few days of meteorological summer time in the southern hemisphere but several ski areas in New Zealand reported heavy snowfall over the weekend due to a ‘Polar blast’ of cold air arriving from Antarctica.

Mt Hutt, one of the country’s largest ski centres, reported it has received “over 50cm” of snow and whilst temperatures are now rising back up to their seasonal norm, meaning a thaw is underway, they believe there’ll be enough snow left to open some runs on Saturday and Sunday – the first weekend in March and for the southern hemisphere the first of meteorological Autumn.

The ski area had an open weekend planned this coming weekend in any case, targeting hikers and mountain bikers, but now skiing and boarding is being offered too.

Just in case you live on another planet this was yesterday at Hutt. Yep just another day skiing the pow pow. Want some? Then come up this weekend as we are open on Saturday for a fun day fundraising for Canterbury West Coast Air Rescue. www.discovermthutt.co.nz

Gepostet von Mt Hutt am Montag, 25. Februar 2019

Some ski areas staff have already been skiing the snow which is reported to be lying 30-40cm deep at the base and over 50cm deep at the top.

Mt Hutt’s scheduled 2019 ski season opening day is June 7th, one of the earliest in the country and the entire southern hemisphere, but still more than three months away.

A second cold snap is expected to arrive in the area over the next few days, so snow conditions could be good, and potentially topped up with a little more fresh snow.

Overnight temperatures should stay sub-zero over the next few days and get down to -6C at times, but in the daytime they could go to double figures above freezing.