Snow and wintry temperatures forecast for week ahead

Snow and bitterly cold temperatures are in the forecast for the coming week as a cold front sweeps across New Zealand.

MetService is warning of a late winter blast bringing bitterly cold temperatures, strong winds and unseasonable frosts.

Snow could fall at sea level across the South Island and parts of the North Island, the forecaster said.

Snow is forecast to fall to 300m in Dunedin on Wednesday evening while Invercargill could see its coldest October day on record with a chilly 5C.

According to NIWA, the winter-like temperatures and snow were because of an air mass headed from Antarctica to New Zealand.

The cold front is expected to arrive in Southland at around midday on Tuesday and quickly work its way up the country.

The dip in the thermometer would be a typical spring weather cold switch, meteorologist John Law said.

"Perhaps don't put away those jumpers just yet," Law said.

"What we will find is this big burst of cold air right across New Zealand, really dropping temperatures, bringing the return of some frosts, some pretty cold days and some very cold nights.

"We'll still find there's some showers coming through, but we'll lose this large area of wet weather."

Winter woollies are definitely needed in Christchurch where lows of -1C are forecast from Wednesday to Friday.

Queenstown is likely to shiver with lows between 1C and -2C forecast from Monday right through to Saturday. 

 - NZ Herald/ODT Online