Waikato, Taranaki and the Kapiti Coast would be "lit up like
a Christmas tree" tonight, with thunderstorms hitting the
west coast of the North Island, according to MetService.
It's part of a weather system bringing downpours, hail,
thunderstorms, snow, fog and maybe even a small tornado to
the country over the next 48 hours.
The wintry blast has come as a new low formed east of
Canterbury, MetService meteorologist Daniel Corbett said.
"It's actually on the radar spinning nicely like a car stuck
in the mud - there's a good swirl of persistent rain now
coming in to Otago and South Canterbury."
Rainfall of up to 100ml could fall in those areas by late
tonight, Mr Corbett said.
The Otago Regional Council said rainfall was continuing to
raise river levels in North and South Otago, and there was
surface flooding in adjacent low-lying areas.
People were advised to watch out for surface flooding, slips,
and hazardous driving conditions.
There were also road snowfall warnings around the Southern
Alps, which received a heavy dusting of snow in places today.
There was also a "small chance" of a tornado along the North
Island's west coast, Mr Corbett said.
"These are not not like those big Wizard of Oz ones, these
are more the smaller scale ... waterspout offshore.
"Hail, strong winds and heavy downpours are the main risk."
"The southerly that's got the persistent rain to Otago and
Canterbury, that whips up the country to Wellington tomorrow;
it's one of those ugly days."
Aucklanders could get an early morning wake up call, as
thundery showers batter the city before dawn.
The worst will be over by sunrise, with lighter showers
continuing throughout the day.
WeatherWatch.co.nz analyst Philip Duncan said by Wednesday
the low pressure system would start to move out to the east.
"Meanwhile clearing skies push into parts of the South Island
- with the sun returning."
By the end of the week, the weather will have calmed, maybe
bringing some cloud and fog patches as the wind dies down, he