The late winter blast has brought a perfect weekend for skiers, with most ski fields receiving a good dumping of snow, and the weather set to clear by Saturday.
MetService spokesman Dan Corbett said the cold snap had brought good levels of snow to South Island ski fields over the past 12 to 19 hours.
Snow has fallen down to 300m through parts of Otago, Southland and Canterbury.
Ohau ski field received 40cm of snow, Craigieburn 27cm, Cardrona 20cm, and Coronet Peak 8cm.
In the North Island, Turoa and Whakapapa have also had fresh snowfalls, and could expect more tonight.
"This is a perfect weekend for the skiers, they've got some fresh powder, fine conditions and they'll be in pretty good shape," Mr Corbett said.
Mr Corbett said the short, sharp blast was this afternoon moving across the North Island, bringing snow down to 800m on the Central Plateau between mid-afternoon and midnight tonight.
A road snow warning is in place for the Desert Rd, with 5 to 10cm of snow expected before midnight.
For Auckland, this morning's squally thunderstorms would return this evening, moving across the city during the drive home and dinner time.
Weather would clear on Friday, after some leftover showers in the morning, Mr Corbett said.
Tomorrow would see a cold start for most parts of the country, frosty in places, but becoming fine everywhere except Hawke's Bay and Gisborne, where some showers and cloud may linger.
Weather for Saturday and Sunday would be "lovely, after some coolish nights."
"I think by the weekend we'll all get what we're looking for whether it's to be out in the garden and do our jobs or whether it's just to get some decent weather."
The dry, fine weather was expected to last into early next week.