Low to bring rain, snow to South

The main ski fields in the North and South Islands are in for a good dumping of snow over the first three days of the school holidays.

WeatherWatch is forecasting up to 75cm of snow at the ski fields around Queenstown, and 50cm at Whakapara and Turoa in the central North Island. It's a similar story at Franz Josef on the West Coast.

The good news on the snow front is tempered with interruptions of rain over the next couple of days.

Cold temperatures are expected, with snow to low levels about eastern and southern parts of the South Island, and about the central plateau of the North Island.

There is a low risk that snow accumulations will exceed warning amounts from about 400m about southern Fiordland, Southland, Clutha, Dunedin south of Otago Peninsula and Banks Peninsula.

New Zealand faced some freezing temperatures during the last week and there is more unsettled weather on the way, says MetService.

Tomorrow, there is a high confidence that rainfall accumulations will exceed warning amounts about eastern Bay of Plenty and northern Gisborne, with northeast gales about central and western parts of the North Island south of Auckland and north of Manawatu. Watches are currently in force.

Meanwhile, southerlies over the lower South Island bring rain and the moderate risk of warning amounts about southern Fiordland, Southland, Clutha and Dunedin about and south of the Peninsula.

Strong cold southerlies will spread over the country during Wednesday and Thursday.

A broad area of low pressure is expected to cover the South Island on Monday, with a front and northerlies clearing the North Island. The low shifts slowly to the southeast on Tuesday, with embedded troughs and showers passing over the country in the west to southwest flow. A bitterly cold southerly is expected to move north over the South Island on Wednesday, then the North Island on Thursday, with snow to low levels about the South Island.

During Wednesday and Thursday, there is a moderate risk of severe gale west to southwesterly winds about Northland, Auckland, and Coromandel Peninsula, with a low risk of severe southerly gales about the east coast of the South Island from Otago through to Marlborough.

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