On Wednesday Christchurch experienced it’s first snow “dump” of the year. It started snowing at 0700 and heavy snow continued falling until late afternoon.
Christchurch International Airport staff went into a well-practiced snow clearing routine. The runway was cleared regularly but some snow was settling and there was considerable fluctuations in visibility. The terminal ran off its own generator system for much of the time at the request of the city power authorities in order to free up power supplies for the city.
Although the airport remained open throughout, airlines diverted and cancelled a number of flights causing considerable passenger backlogs. A few domestic flights had landed by mid-afternoon and the first international flight to land was Emirates which landed at 1415 from Dubai via Sydney.
The next day dawned clear and crisp with a temperature of -5.3 degrees. It was late morning before operations began again.