A chilling blast carrying snow and hail is making its up way the country over the next 36 hours.

After the long weekend's wild weather, the strong southerly breeze has kicked off in the South Island and is expected to spread to the North Island tomorrow.

Snow isn't expected to be too heavy at low levels but flurries to 200m are possible for some South Island areas over the next 24 to 36 hours.

By Wednesday night and across Thursday expect colder than usual weather in most regions.

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Drivers are also warned snow may affect the Napier to Taupo State Highway 5 and State Highway 1's Desert Rd.

Frosty weather moves in towards the end of the week as high pressure builds and locks in the colder air.

However, warmer northerlies from the sub-tropics look set to return to New Zealand next week.


The pattern of cold blasts followed by warmer sub-tropical northerlies indicated New Zealand was unlikely to be colder than average this June if the northerly flows continue in the mix, WeatherWatch reported.

Canterbury will be one of the coldest regions in New Zealand tomorrow.