Settled weather ending, snow on way for South

The settled autumn weather in the South looks set for a sudden end, with a cold southerly change set to bring the "first significant snowfall of the year".

MetService is forecasting an abrupt midweek plunge in temperatures, and has issued road snow warnings for some southern passes.

While much of the country has experienced relatively high temperatures in the last few days, the southerly change is expected to spread up the South Island tomorrow, and over the North Island on Wednesday.

"The difference will be most notable in the South Island, with a few locations set to see around a ten degree drop in temperature," MetService meteorologist Alwyn Bakker said.

"In particular, Christchurch is  expected to reach 24C on Tuesday, just ahead of the change, but only 11C on  Wednesday."

The change is predicted to bring snow down to 600 metres in Southland,  Dunedin, and the Southern Lakes area from tomorrow afternoon, and to 700 metres  at night in the Canterbury high country.

MetService is calling it "the first significant snowfall for the year".

Road snowfall warnings have been issued for the Lindis Pass (State Highway 8), the Crown Range Road and the Milford Road (SH94).

Heavy rain watches and warnings have also been issued for parts of the West Coast of the South Island, and strong wind watches for parts of the  Canterbury high country.

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