New Zealand is set to experience more unsettled weather this week as weather systems have their way with the nation.

It's a mixed bag throughout the country tomorrow and on Wednesday with rain, wind and a little bit of sunshine all expected over the next few days.

Today, a violent snowstorm bashed the South Island and disrupted many in the wider Queenstown area.

Several flights out of Queenstown Airport were cancelled, power was lost throughout the region, schools were forced to close and some motorists were trapped.


Ski resorts in the area were topped with 45cm of fresh powder snow last night and it continued to snow throughout the day.

However, the cold snap is set to vacate the South Island this evening, according to MetService meteorologist Andy Best.

"The low-pressure system which brought this snow event is currently heading southeast and should clear the South Island this evening.

"Cold southwest winds in the wake of the low brought snow this morning to parts of Fiordland, Southland and Otago," Best said.

Christine Law enjoys the snow falling on Coronet Peak earlier today. Photo / Supplied Coronet Peak
Christine Law enjoys the snow falling on Coronet Peak earlier today. Photo / Supplied Coronet Peak

Tomorrow, a ridge of high pressure looks set to build across the South Island from the Tasman Sea and will provide mainly fine weather into Wednesday.

Eventually the ridge will subside as it moves northeast on Thursday and another trough will batter the lower South Island from the afternoon.

A southeast moving subtropical low is expected to approach the North Island's north from tomorrow and will continue into Wednesday, the MetService said.

Rain is also expected to fall in Northland, parts of Auckland and the Coromandel Peninsula and could reach warning amounts tomorrow.


Northern parts of Gisborne from tomorrow and Wednesday should also expect rainfall accumulations to approach warning amounts.

A severe weather watch for heavy rain is in place for Northland from 6am tomorrow and continues through to 6am on Wednesday.

Strong east to southeast winds are also expected to impact coastal areas of Northland, Great Barrier Island, the Coromandel Peninsula and parts of the Bay of Plenty.

The snow was forecasted to fall over the past couple of days and MetService said it should not come as a surprise despite winter officially being over.

Cold southerly outbreaks are not uncommon during the start of September as winter dies down and spring starts up.

Weather watch: Tuesday


Mostly cloudy with a chance of a shower, then some evening rain. Southerlies developing in the afternoon. High 18C, Low 12C

Tauranga: Often cloudy, with showers turning to rain in the evening. Easterly breezes. 18C, 12C

Hamilton: Mostly cloudy with a chance of a shower. Southeast breezes. 19C, 10C

Napier: A period of morning rain then chance of showers. Light winds. 17C, 10C

New Plymouth: Rain clearing late morning, then fine spells increasing. Southeast breezes. 16C, 8C

Wellington: Rain clearing early morning, then fine spells developing. Southeast breezes. 14C, 6C

Nelson: Fine. Southwesterlies dying out in the morning, then afternoon sea breezes. 16C, 4C

Greymouth: A few showers before dawn, then fine spells. Light southwesterlies. 13C, 4C

Christchurch: Fine, with possible morning frosts. Southwesterlies developing in the morning, turning northeast in the afternoon. 14C, 2C

Queenstown: Fine, with morning frosts. Northerlies developing in the morning. 9C, 2C

Dunedin: Some rain before dawn, then a fine day. Southwesterlies turn northerly in the afternoon. 15C, 6C

Invercargill: Fine, morning frosts. Some high cloud in the evening. Northwesterlies. 14C, 6C