Gales set to batter much of country tonight

Hold onto your hats tonight and tomorrow as strong winds are forecast to blast the cobwebs out of all corners of the country.

The windiest areas are expected to be centred over Hastings to Masterton, Nelson, Canterbury, and the Southland and Otago coasts, Weather Watch warned.

But strong winds were also expected to blow from Waikato and Bay of Plenty to Kapiti and Marlborough.

Winds were likely to be gale force at times, but would probably not reach severe gale.

From Tuesday afternoon very cold air would again spread over Fiordland, Southland and Otago with snow lowering to 200 or 300 metres during the afternoon and evening, the MetService said.

Low snowfalls would be accompanied by strong or gale cold winds and farmers were advised to shelter any vulnerable stock. Snowfalls were also likely to affect some roads, including the Milford road, the Lindis Pass, and higher roads in Southland, Clutha and Dunedin. Snow showers should all clear by about dawn on Wednesday.

- NZPA

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