Strong southerly change to bring wind, rain and snow

A strong southerly change this evening is expected to bring snow as low as 300m and heavy rain to parts of the South Island, including Banks Peninsula.

The MetService has severe weather watches and road snowfall warnings for across the south from this evening until tomorrow.

There is a moderate risk snow accumulations will exceed warning amounts above 400m about Banks Peninsula, southern Fiordland, Southland, Clutha, Dunedin, and southern parts of central Otago.

Blizzard conditions are likely about South Island hills and ranges exposed to the southerly gales, and high level roads are likely to be affected by snow, including the Remutaka and Desert Rds.

MetService meteorologist Lewis Ferris said the weather was "pulling out all the stops" for the first week of the school holidays.

"We’re expecting a strong southerly change to bring about periods of heavy rain, strong winds and lowering snow levels."

Snow was expected as low as 300m in places. In Dunedin snow was possible on the hilltops. 

A severe rain watch was in place for eastern parts of Dunedin and Clutha, about and south of the Otago Peninsula, from 6pm this evening to 11am tomorrow. 

A severe wind watch was in place for North Otago, Dunedin and Clutha tomorrow from 9am to 6pm.

The low should move away to the east of New Zealand tomorrow morning and the rain should ease.

Road snowfall warnings were in place for the Crown Range Road between 8pm tomorrow and 3am Wednesday when 1cm or 2cm of snow may settle on the road above 700m.

A warning was also in place for the Milford Road and between 9pm tomorrow and 4am Wednesday, 1cm or 2cm of snow may settle on the road above 700m.

- ODT and NZ Herald



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