Skifields are making the best of the good weather before it deteriorates later this week - with at least one setting a record.

Cardrona near Queenstown had its busiest day ever yesterday as more than 5500 people flocked to the mountain after an unexpected 20cm of snow fell on Monday.

In the North Island Turoa also had a dusting of snow on Monday last night, adding to the 50cm-plus from last week's snow storm and delighting kids still on school holidays.

Fairly settled weather should continue today for the upper North Island, with gentle breezes and highs around 16-17C, MetService forecaster Peter Little said.


The lower North Island will see the odd shower from Levin through to Wellington, with similarly mild temperatures. said gusty northwesterlies would pick up through the Cook Strait, while light frosts were expected inland in the South Island before a reasonably fine day.

But on Thursday heavy rainfall is being forecast for parts of the North Island, including Taihape, drenching rural areas that have now gone a whole week without power.

Last week's snowstorm cut off power to parts of the Central Plateau - including Waiouru, pictured - for several days. Photo/Supplied
Last week's snowstorm cut off power to parts of the Central Plateau - including Waiouru, pictured - for several days. Photo/Supplied

With one more day of good weather, Powerco crews will be pushing to reconnect around 900 customers in the Central Plateau who are still without power after last week's storm.

Network operations manager Phil Marsh said today would be a huge day for crews working in remote areas around Taihape and Rangitikei.

He hoped most remaining customers would have power "in the next few days" though some pockets would take longer to reconnect.

Helicopters were bringing more than 70 poles and kilometres of line into the Central Plateau area, after the massive snow fall brought down a huge swathe of the network.

MetService has issued a severe weather outlook as a "large, complex low pressure system" comes in from the Tasman Sea.

By Thursday rain is expected across the North Island, with the Gisborne ranges across to Taihape and Taranaki right in the firing line.

MetService said there was "moderate confidence" that rain would reach warning levels in the region, while WeatherWatch said the heaviest falls were likely about Bay of Plenty and East Cape.

Severe northerly gales are also possible in exposed places on Thursday and early Friday. WeatherWatch said strong winds could cause delays for smaller aircraft at airports like Gisborne or Tauranga.



Often cloudy, with the odd shower. Northwesterlies.

High 17C, Overnight 11C

AUCKLAND Cloudy, odd shower until late afternoon, then fine. Northerlies developing.
High 17C, Overnight 11C

HAMILTON Mostly cloudy, the odd shower. Light winds.
High 16C, Overnight 8C

TAURANGA Overcast, few showers. Light winds.
High 16C, Overnight 10C

NAPIER Cloudy start, fine spells from afternoon. Northerlies.
High 16C, Overnight 7C

WELLINGTON Showers developing around midday. Northerlies.
High 13C, Overnight 10C

CHRISTCHURCH Fine, morning frosts. High cloud developing afternoon. Northerlies.
High 13C, Overnight 3C

DUNEDIN Fine at first, increasing cloud. Northerlies.
High 12C, Overnight 6C