South to bear brunt of polar blast

Another wintry weekend is on the way as a polar blast is forecast to hit the country over the next few days.

The South is set to cop the brunt of the blast, with snow forecast to 100m in Southland and 200m in parts of Otago.

WeatherWatch head analyst Philip Duncan said temperatures today and tomorrow were expected to be warmer than average in many places, but the polar weather system was due to arrive tomorrow night over the southern parts of the South Island, before spreading.

"We've got a quiet couple of days coming up, but there's another surge of rain and snow and wind for the weekend," Duncan said.

"So you've got a cold Friday night and a wintry Saturday on the way."

People in Southland and Central Otago could expect daytime highs to drop to temperatures between 4C to 6C.

Snow levels in Southland may be as low as 100m or 200m, and about 200m or 300m in inland Otago.

MetService says the hills around Dunedin could get snow to 500m.

Canterbury could have snow to 500m lowering to 300m later in the day, possibly to 200m for a time, WeatherWatch said.

By tomorrow afternoon, rain returns to the West Coast and later on in Southland. MetService has a heavy rain watch in place for Fiordland and Westland from tomorrow into Saturday.

For those in the North Island, there will be pockets of warmer than average weather on Saturday, Duncan said.

But colder southeast winds will lower the temperatures on Sunday.

"A good example is Napier, which has a high of 17C on Saturday but just 9C on Sunday.''


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