Snow overnight has closed a main South Island alpine pass and MetService warns of further snow to 500m today.

A cold front passed over the country last night exiting to the northeast leaving behind it a cold, showery westerly flow, MetService meteorologist Karl Loots said.

This front was behind some bursts of rain across the country last night, particularly in the east of the North Island, and pockets of heavy snow in the South Island.

The NZ Transport Agency said Lewis Pass (State Highway 7) had been closed from the Hanmer turnoff to Springs Junction due to snow.

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MetService said a further 10 to 15cm of snow could fall on the road above 800m this morning and early afternoon, with lesser amounts down to 400m.

There were also South Island road snow warnings in place for Porters Pass (SH73), Lindis Pass (SH8) and Crown Range Road.

Otago, Southland and Fiordland were under a heavy snow watch this morning, with snow forecast to 500m.

NZTA said heavy rain in the east of the North Island had caused a couple of large slips on Sunday, closing both SH35 at Runaway Bay and SH2 Waimana Gorge.

This week was more of a "typical wintry pattern", Loots said.

"There are a few features, nothing too severe, just a bit unsettled with periods of rain and showers, mostly in the west."

Today western parts of the North Island would see periods of showers, while eastern areas would be mostly fine, Loots said.

In the South Island it would be the opposite with a front moving across from the West Coast this morning.

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The West Coast would become fine after rain this morning, before the rain spread in eastern areas from the far south up to Nelson and Marlborough.

The front would spread rain to the lower North Island this afternoon and Taranaki by this evening.

Tomorrow the front would ease, with just some showers remaining in parts of the North Island, predominantly in the west.

On Wednesday another front would arrive in Southland and Fiordland before moving up the country through Thursday and Friday.

"There will be nothing severe, though," Loots said.

Today's weather

Whangārei

Fine spells. One or two afternoon showers. Westerly breezes. 15C high, 5C overnight.

Auckland

​ Cloudy periods. A few showers, mainly afternoon. Westerly breezes. 14C high, 7C overnight.

Hamilton

Cloudy periods and a few showers, mainly afternoon. Westerlies dying out in the evening. 14C high, 3C overnight.

Tauranga

Fine, then afternoon cloudy periods with a chance shower. Westerlies dying out in the evening. 14C high, 4C overnight.

New Plymouth Cloudy periods, and a few showers. Westerlies. 13C high, 6C overnight.

Napier Fine. Westerlies. 15C high, 1C overnight.

Wellington Fine at first. Rain developing from midday as strong northerlies change southerly. 12C high, 7C overnight.

Nelson Chance morning shower, occasional rain from afternoon. Light winds. 11C high, 4C overnight.

Christchurch Cloudy with showers. Southwesterlies. 10C high, 4C overnight.

Dunedin Mostly cloudy, with rain at times. Southerlies. 9C high, 5C overnight.