New Zealand is in for a bitter cold snap at this end of this week, forecasters predict.

The unseasonably cold southwest change is expected to hit the South Island on Thursday and the North Island on Friday, MetService meteorologist Daniel Corbett said.

"This cold snap is late in the season and will have some bite, bringing snow to some of the South Island high country and overnight frosts in places.

"Mercifully, we expect it to be short."


Corbett said the biggest impact of the cold snap will be frost, with inland parts of both the North and South Islands to suffer the most.

However, a north westerly will be on its way on Saturday, with warm and windy weather expected across the country on Sunday.