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Winter's well and truly here with freezing temperatures in the South, including Central Otago's Ranfurly where it was a bitter -9.1degC early today.
It was also the lowest June temperature in several years.
Temperatures in many areas across the central South Island also plummeted below -5degC. And there are more sharp cold snaps to come, Niwa warns.
It is also expected to be a wet start to the season in the north.
The MetService has issued a severe weather watch for Northland, with warnings of gale force winds and heavy rain from late tonight.
In its latest seasonal climate outlook, Niwa said there would be plenty more cold snap in the next few months, especially in the second half of winter.
However, there were also likely to be more mild spells in the north of the country.
Meteorologist Ben Noll said there should be long, settled periods in the south over the next few months, but there was the possibility of heavy rain in the north and east.