Heavy snow is now expected to fall across the central North Island and storm-battered regions in the south tomorrow as the country freezes in another brutal cold snap.

A trough is due to hit the country later today bringing rain to most places and bitterly cold weather.

It's bad news for regions hit hard by recent storms. The south of the country is still mopping up from extensive flooding. More than 40 properties around Mangaweka are still without power nearly two weeks after snow toppled poles and lines in the central North Island.

MetService warns heavy snow is expected to fall to 300m in waterlogged Canterbury and North Otago and to 700m in the central high country of the North Island. The misery continues with heavy rain falling in weather-battered eastern districts of the South Island.

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A heavy rain warning has been issued for southern Westland and a road snowfall warning is in force for the Milford Rd. MetService says up to 5cm of snow may fall on the key tourist highway today.

A further heavy rain and snow watch has been issued covering Christchurch, Canterbury and North Otago. In parts of North Otago and Canterbury more than 50mm is expected to fall from tomorrow morning on already sodden ground.

Heavy snow was expected to fall down to 300m across inland Canterbury tomorrow afternoon and into the evening. It is also expected to fall in Banks Peninsula.

MetService warned significant snowfalls were expected above 500m and were likely to affect alpine passes and cause problems for livestock. Up to 20cm of snow is expected to fall on Porters Pass from midday tomorrow.

Rain is also expected for eastern districts of the South Island hard hit in last week's floods.

The North Island is also in for a wet day with thunderstorms and hail expected to strike Northland and the Hauraki Gulf from midday.

On Friday gales are likely to buffet the capital as the front clears the island.

The weekend starts on a crisp, cool note with bitterly cold air, clear skies and light winds in the south, which eventually spreads north by Sunday before the next round of bad weather hits next week.

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