A cold snap has brought a dusting of snow to parts of the South Island as the country braces for more unseasonably chilly weather over the long weekend.

The MetService said elevated parts of North Otago and the hills around Hanmer Springs in Canterbury received some light snowfall today.

Tomorrow is set to be more settled, with fine weather expected in many regions.
WeatherWatch.co.nz said eastern parts of the country were likely to have a nice day, with a developing northerly airflow becoming stronger around Cook Strait later tomorrow.

In western parts of the country, cloud and showers would start to move over the South Island tomorrow afternoon and the North Island that night.


On Sunday, MetService said a front would sweep across the North Island, with severe northwest gales likely early in the day for Marlborough, Wellington, Wairarapa, and central Hawkes Bay.

Gisborne and northern Hawkes Bay could receive moderate winds, while eastern Bay of Plenty might see heavy rain.

On Monday, a cold front is forecast to move northwards over the country, bringing rain to western areas and a period of showers to the east.

Snow was expected to about 400m from Southland to Canterbury, but was not expected to be heavy.

Police have urged drivers to have a safe Labour Day weekend, and have reminded motorists there would be a lower speed tolerance of 4km/h in place.

Eight people died and 17 people suffered serious injuries in road crashes last Labour Day weekend.