Snow and storms ahead as winter bites

The cold bite of winter is expected to hit again this week as snow, frosts and rain were due to hit the country.

Snow was likely on the South Island ranges tomorrow and Tuesday and might also affect the Desert Road late Tuesday or early Wednesday, WeatherWatch.co.nz said.

A high would be moving in from Tasmania about the middle of the week, bringing clearing skies and frosts to the South Island towards the end of the week.

Rain was also expected to fall around Bay of Plenty on Thursday and would linger around the upper North Island at least until the upcoming weekend, WeatherWatch analyst Philip Duncan said.

This week Dunedin should only see highs in the single digits, with Christchurch hovering about the 10C mark, he said.

Wellington would also be cooler with highs in the low double digits this week and overnight the temperature would remain largely unchanged because of the wind and cloud.

Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga and other northern New Zealand centres would also be cooler with highs reaching about 12C to 14C, compared to late teens last week, Mr Duncan said.

Poor weather last week closed two roads in the South Island.

A large rock slip in the Kawarau Gorge yesterday has closed State Highway 6 between Cromwell and Queenstown. It was not known when roading contractors would be able to have it cleared.

Heavy snow yesterday has also closed SH 94 between between Te Anau and Milford Sound.

The New Zealand Transport Agency did not know when the road would reopen.

STRONG WINDS

Strong wind gusts have torn down a shed in Himatangi Beach, west of Palmerston North.

The fire service is still at the property where the shed had blown onto the road, a fire service spokeswoman said.

Some corrugated iron from the shed had landed on powerlines but no other properties had been damaged by the wind, she said.

- APNZ

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