Cold temperatures, snow, rain - but also sunshine, in some parts - will ring in the first day of winter today.

The MetService said there was an unstable southwesterly flow affecting the top of the North Island this morning. As a result, places in that region could be in for some harsh weather conditions early in the day.

"There is a moderate risk of thunderstorms during the morning in Northland, Auckland and Coromandel Peninsula - although the risk reduces to low in Northland after dawn.

"If these thunderstorms occur, they are likely to be accompanied by localised heavy rain ... " There is also a low risk of thunderstorms over northern Waikato, the coast in Gisborne and northern Hawke's Bay coast.


Auckland is forecast to get showers and a chance of heavy rain and thunder, which will clear later this afternoon. The city has a temperature high of 14C and an overnight low of 7C.

Those in Hamilton, Tokoroa and Waikato will be happy to know they are in for a whole lot of sunshine today which will last through to the weekend; with fine spells forecast up until at least Sunday.

However, with temperature highs ranging from 12C to 15C and overnight lows of 1C to 3C, people will definitely be feeling the cold snap.

Up north, in Dargaville, Whangarei and Kaitaia, there are showers and rain forecast throughout the day. But temperatures remain slightly higher than in other parts of the country; staying around the mid teens today.

Over in Tauranga, Whakatane and Taupo, the weather is sunny, but with morning frost. Taupo has a high of 11C and an overnight low of 2C.

Sunny skies are forecast in Palmerston North; while people in Wellington and Masterton will need an umbrella at some point, as showers are forecast in both places.

Road Snowfall Warnings:

In the South Island, there are a few snowfall warnings in place on some roads - including on Lewis Pass, Arthur's Pass and Porters Pass.

There are no road snowfall warnings for Napier-Taupo Rd, Desert Rd, Rimutaka Hill Rd, Lindis Pass, Haast Pass, Milford Rd and Dunedin to Waitati Highway.

Blenheim, Nelson, Greymouth and Hokitika are all in for a beautiful fine day today, with temperature highs of up to 13C, but overnight lows of 1C or 2C.

There are showers forecast in Christchurch, but those will clear by the afternoon, the MetService says. The temperature high today is 10C in the Garden City.

Dunedin has a high of 11C and a 7C overnight low. It will be a mostly cloudy day, with a chance of evening showers.

Invercargill will get a few showers throughout the day, cold southwesterlies and a high of 11C.