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Time to get your woolly hats and scarves ready — a cold blast is on the way, potentially bringing the Southern region’s first widespread snowfall of the year.
Although the weather would feel unseasonably warm at the start of the week, MetService meteorologist April Clark said an active front was expected to move over the country on Thursday, marking the start of a gradual shift to south westerlies and cooler temperatures.
‘‘Eastern regions of the South Island will likely see the sharpest drop in temperatures from the week’s start to end, with single-digit maximum temperatures showing up for Southland and Otago on Friday.
"As that wind turns southwest on Friday, we’re expecting snow levels to lower to about 500m or 600m.
‘‘It will be a little bit cooler on the east coast, so on Saturday it could lower to as low as 400m.
‘‘For Dunedin, it will mean the higher hills around the city might get some snow.
‘‘Further inland, like the Queenstown Lakes area, they will be quite cool as well but they’re not going to get quite as much precipitation.
‘‘They will see snow about the mountains but in terms of accumulations, it’s not going to be huge.’’
She said the snow would be short-lived and would likely disappear on Sunday.
The cold burst may come as a shock to stock so farmers with stock at higher altitudes were advised to be prepared.
Some high roads, such as the Crown Range Road, Lindis Pass and the Milford Road could also be affected.
She advised people to keep up to date with the latest forecast.