Heavy rain on the way

A storm is brewing but it won't be bringing much-needed snow to the skifields, forecasters say.

MetService has issued rain and wind warnings for many parts of the South Island and the Lower North Island.

The frontal system across New Zealand over the next 24 to 36 hours would bring heavy rain and strong winds to many parts of the South Island.

However, the worst of the storm would miss Otago, except for around the headwaters to the west.

MetService forecaster David Miller said from midnight last night until 9am today, about 150mm of rain was expected near the main divide in Otago.

The worst of the weather was expected elsewhere and MetService meteorologist Rob Kerr said a rain warning was in place for ''most of the West Coast of the South Island - from northern Fiordland and right up to the ranges of Buller and western Nelson, and parts of Taranaki''.

Wind warnings were also in place for inland Canterbury, from the foothills of the main divide, Wellington and the Marlborough Sounds.

The storm would bring with it warm air, meaning skiers and snowboarders will have to wait a bit longer to hit the slopes.

Freezing levels would be about 2500m over the South Island, Mr Kerr said.

WeatherWatch.co.nz head analyst Philip Duncan said the weather pattern had meant a very mild June in many parts of the country, especially the North Island.

''However, as we head into July expect a southerly change which will lower temperatures nationwide.''

Winter was about to make a reappearance and bring temperatures back to normal, he said.

Some snow was likely for skifields in both islands, although no major wintry blast was in the two-week forecast at this stage.

- Additional reporting APNZ

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