Weather: Decent in east, cloudy in west

Huge waves pounded the shoreline at Petone Beach, near Wellington last week. Photo / Bob Beale
Huge waves pounded the shoreline at Petone Beach, near Wellington last week. Photo / Bob Beale

More snow is on its way to South Island ski fields this weekend, but warmer temperatures will take the bite out of overnight temperatures in inland valleys, MetService says.

Spokesman Daniel Corbett said it would be a decent weekend for outdoor plans in eastern places but on the western side of the country south of Taranaki the next two days should be more cloudy than fine, with showers from time to time.

"Queenstown has struggled to get above a few degrees in the last few days, but is expected to climb into double figures early next week,'' Mr Corbett said.

WeatherWatch.co.nz has forecast a frosty night tonight in some parts of New Zealand.

It predicts temperatures through Central Otago will drop to -6C, while other parts of the South Island and some inland parts of the North Island will fall to between zero and -4C. Auckland was tipped to drop to 3C tonight in some suburbs but about 7C in coastal areas.

As overnight temperatures in Wellington are expected to drop to 4C, about 200 Wellington Electricity customers remain without power, a week after a major storm initially cut power to more than 30,000 homes and businesses.

Due to the widespread nature of the storm, most suburbs within the region had customers affected by "localised Low Voltage faults'' either on power poles or the individual line connection to homes and businesses, Wellington Electricity said.

"Since Sunday, our repair crews have been working in the hardest hit areas and found that the damage done to the electricity network is far worse than originally expected.'' The company has brought in 150 additional reinforcements from Hamilton, Thames, Whangarei, Tauranga, Hastings and Marlborough to help reconnect the power, ``almost tripling our normal workforce''.

Weather analysts are predicting July will be dominated by strong westerlies, which will hopefully keep frosts away.

"It looks more like a spring set-up than a mid-winter one,'' WeatherWatch.co.nz analyst Philip Duncan said.

"High pressure is strong over Australia and the upper North Island next week, while very low air pressure circles Antarctica. New Zealand is in the squash zone in between, truly the Roaring Forties next week.''

- APNZ

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