Keep the winter woollies handy — more snow is on its way.

This time, it is the North Island's turn, with significant snowfalls expected in eastern and central areas above 500m.

MetService said the snow due to hit the North Island this morning is from a front that brought a snow dump on the South Island on Tuesday night.

The Desert Road remains closed, with a warning of more snow dumps today.


It will bring mostly settled but cold weather over the North Island tomorrow and into the weekend, with minimum temperatures expected to range from 1C to 6C north of the country and between -1C to 3C in the lower North Island and South Island.

Roads including the Napier-Taupo Rd and Desert Rd could see between 5cm to 8cm of snow.

Aucklanders get isolated showers early today then enjoy a fine day with a high of 13C and overnight low of 8C.

Gisborne is in for some heavy showers before dawn, Palmerston North gets a cloudy day and Wellington will have frequent showers.

That follows a huge snowfall over the South Island on Tuesday night and early yesterday, which led to dozens of schools and early childcare centres being closed for the day.

The Ministry of Education said 11 schools and 17 early childhood centres were closed due to the snow. Almost 3800 students and 280 children linked to childcare centres were affected.

Parents were encouraged to keep an eye on their child's school social media sites to see whether their school would be opened today.

Despite the snowy conditions, many were happy to enjoy an unplanned day off, mid-week.


Children in Dunedin's Halfway Bush put on their coats and warm woollies to enjoy a day of fun outside in the snow.

Youngsters Charlie Hunsehe, 8, Ethan Martin, 9, Lacey Reid, 11 and Milly Reid were pictured laughing as they threw snowballs at each other.

Near Tolaga Bay, however, contractors worked throughout the day to clear massive amounts of logs and forestry debris caused by heavy flooding over the weekend and early hours of Queen's Birthday.

A digger was brought in to help clear the Wigan Bridge, on Tauwhareparae Rd, which was badly damaged as a result of the floods.

Heading into the weekend, a front is expected to move north over the south of the South Island on Saturday and over the upper part of the island on Sunday night, bringing rain to western areas.

MetService said last night another front was due to bring snow overnight and snow levels were predicted to increase to around 600m to 700m but could be as low as 300m in southern Canterbury and Otago.

Many areas in the South Island have mainly fine conditions today including Nelson and Dunedin.

Today's forecast

Showers, chance heavy around dawn, then becoming infrequent. Brisk southerlies.

Auckland: Isolated showers early morning, then fine. Brisk southerlies.

Tauranga: Fine apart from evening high cloud. Southerlies.

Western North Island (including Central North Island)
Showers, turning to rain around midday then easing back to showers in the evening. Taranaki may stay fairly dry apart from a few showers late afternoon / evening. Snow about the Central Plateau to 600m for a time. South to southwesterly winds. Coldest temperatures about higher parts of the Central Plateau.
Highs: 3-13

Eastern North Island
Mostly cloudy with occasional showers, some rain about the Wairarapa from midday then easing in the evening. Southwesterly winds.
Highs: 11-12

Showers turning to rain in the morning, easing back in the evening. Southerly winds becoming strong in the afternoon with gales through Cook Strait.
High: 12

Marlborough & Nelson
Cloud thickens, rain develops late morning then clears late afternoon. Southerly winds freshen around midday.
Highs: 12-14

Morning rain, easing to showers in the afternoon then clearing away. A shower or two may linger about Banks Peninsula and parts of North Canterbury for the rest of the day. Fresh cool Sou'West winds.
Highs: 10-13

West Coast
Morning cloud with the chance of a shower then becoming mostly sunny, south to southeasterly winds.
Highs: 11-14

Southland & Otago
Mostly cloudy, may be a shower or two about, mainly for Southland otherwise fairly dry. Breezy west to southwesterly winds.
Highs: 9-12