Snow perfectly timed

Photo supplied.
Photo supplied.

After days of rain and warm temperatures, snow struck southern skifields including Treble Cone (pictured) on Monday night and more is forecast.

All southern skifields should be open before the weekend, just in the nick of time for the school holidays.

The Remarkables Ski Field, above Queenstown, announced yesterday it would open tomorrow and the Treble Cone Ski Field, near Wanaka, announced it was ''tentatively''scheduling its opening day for Friday.

The Cardrona Alpine Resort and Coronet Peak are already open.

With the Australian school holidays already under way and the New Zealand holidays starting at the weekend, Remarkables ski area manager Ross Lawrence said the arrival of fresh snow could not have been better timed.

The Southern Hemisphere Proving Ground on the Pisa Range above the Cardrona Valley opened for the season at the weekend and now has clients testing cars and tyres in winter conditions.

• The Central North Island skifields are likely to receive between 20cm to 30cm of snow today, forecasters say.

MetService forecaster Allister Gorman said while it wasn't a "big dumping" it would be welcome fresh snow for Turoa and Whakapapa.

"The cold stuff is still to come on there. The freezing level is likely to come down lower, down to 600 metres," he said.

It was currently at around 700 to 800 metres.

"It's down to zero at the top of the Desert Road.... it's almost certainly snowing there already."

Up to 10cm could accumulate above 800 metres on the Desert Road today, and lesser amounts would be seen down to 600 metres.

Auckland would have a typical "four seasons in one day" kind of day, Mr Gorman said.

"It's going to be a windy day, and quite cold, similar weather to what [Auckland] has been having recently. There'll be some blue patches followed by really heavy showers coming through with some hail and the odd clap of thunder."

The rest of the North Island would be having a similarly unsettled day, he said.

Mr Gorman said Wellingtonians may be seeing a clear blue sky this morning, but by lunchtime a strong southerly wind will move in and bring wet weather with it. - APNZ