MetService expects another wintry spell on the weekend. A strong, very cold southerly is forecast to spread onto southern New Zealand on Saturday night and
further north on Sunday. Winds should start easing from the south from Sunday night as freezing levels rise slowly.
Snow is likely to affect many roads in the south and east of the South Island and higher roads in eastern and central North Island areas including the Rimutaka Road on Sunday. Wind chill means conditions will be severe for animals and trampers in exposed areas in the hills and ranges.
People are advised to keep up to date with weather forecasts. Motorists should check road conditions before departing, particularly on Sunday, and farmers should shelter vulnerable animals.
MetService expects the very cold southerly blast to reach Wellington and Wairarapa mid morning on Sunday and spread further north in the afternoon and evening. Snow showers are likely to fall as low as 300 to 500 metres, affecting many higher roads, including the Rimutaka Road, Desert Road, Gentle Annie Route and Napier-Taupo highway, and coat the higher ranges with heavy snow. Some of the hill suburbs in Wellington could also see snow. Wind chill temperatures will probably be around -5 degrees Celsius in exposed places, but extreme in the mountains. Weather conditions should start to ease on Monday morning.
It's going to be a good ski season this year! But you might want to wait until the weather eases before heading for the mountains.