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A southwest flow would move over the South Island today, dropping temperatures into the low teens and bringing rain to most areas.
From 8pm until midnight today, snow was forecast down to 800m on the Crown Range Road, but little if any should settle, MetService advised.
Snow was also forecast for the Crown Range on Saturday, lowering to 600 metres overnight, and down to 500 metres on Sunday.
Snow flurries were also possible for the Homer Tunnel area today and at the weekend, which could affect the Milford Road (State Highway 94),
Weatherwatch said by the end of today - and over the next few days - a number of cold fronts would approach the country.
Queenstown, Wanaka and Milford Sound were set to reach a high of 13degC today, Dunedin and Oamaru 12degC, Alexandra 11degC and Invercargill 10degC.
There would be surges of sunny, mild, weather in the east of both islands at time but the general theme was for the air to get increasingly colder in the days ahead.
The forecaster said to expect up to 10 days of cold fronts bringing snow to mountains and skifields, perhaps down to just a few hundred metres.