Heavy snow and northwest gales on the way

Snow is on the cards for the South Island this weekend with forecasters warning there could be heavy falls in parts of Canterbury, Otago and Southland.

MetService says heavy snow could fall above 400m in parts of inland Otago and Southland, eastern Fiordland and the south Canterbury high country on Saturday.

Rain is expected for much of the South Island with the possibility that rainfall amounts in Southland, Fiordland and the ranges of the Westland District will reach warning criteria. 

Severe northwest gales are possible in the Canterbury high country.

The cold front is expected to weaken on Sunday but there could still be heavy snow in inland Otago, the forecaster says.