The first of many antarctic blasts is racing up the South Island now and we are not happy with memories of the last cold snap at the end of July fresh in our minds.
We are often asked about snow in Christchurch to which we answer *Yes, sometimes but only a bit and it usually melts in a day or so,* and we also add *but we can get a big fall of snow sometimes too* One of the biggest falls in Christchurch was 28cm on 14 July 1945 – Jeff’s Dad was 5 and his Mum had to walk into town to buy shoes for his first day of school the next day!
We’ve been back from Japan 3 years now and that the snow 2 weeks ago was the first snow we’ve had – and it was the biggest fall in 15 years – they said. Now we are due for another dumping – only this time the predictions are for a much colder snap which will last longer and dump even more snow on us! We had 15-20cm then & it was bad enough!
Because we don’t get snow too often, we are just not set up for it. The small number of front end loaders and graders we have are pressed in to clear the main roads but smaller roads just get clogged up. Snow tyres are nonexistent and few people have chains! After the snow comes the semi-melt, then the clear frosty nights turning all areas into sheets of ice! The city becomes paralysed by the underfoot conditions which can take days to resolve.
The good thing about snow is that we can plan! Not like a shakey quakey which randomly occur and catch you out, at least we can get ready for this meteorological attack!
Here at the motel back in July we had guests who couldn’t get in to Christchurch, and guests who couldn’t get out. Luckily we had a good balance and no major problems apart from way too much snow in the carpark which took 3 days to clear!
At least we sort of know what we are in for over the next few days but the predictions are for an unprecedented 3 days of snow so who really knows!
We all want to sing “Don’t let the sno~~~w come down on me~~”