It's white and it comes from the sky but it's not quite snow.

Regardless, those in Auckland have gone crazy over the otherwise normal winter event.

A hailstorm rolled over parts of the City of Sails this afternoon with one social media user being fooled by the weather system, thinking it was snow.

Whereas others knew the difference, one creating a hail-snowman and another labelling it "almost like snow".

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The Herald's social media and trending reporter Heath Moore said a storm swiftly rolled over his Cockle Bay home and created a semi-whiteout.

Almost snow but not quite. Cockle Bay in Auckland hit by hailstorm. Photo / Supplied
Almost snow but not quite. Cockle Bay in Auckland hit by hailstorm. Photo / Supplied
Amelia Molloy's cats will be stuck with hail for dinner. Photo / Supplied
Amelia Molloy's cats will be stuck with hail for dinner. Photo / Supplied

"I looked outside and it was absolutely pelting down with hail - it completely covered the deck," he said.

"It looks like the roofs next door and the driveway just look completely white. From a distance [I thought] it was sleet.

"It looks really fluffy, once I got a little bit closer you could definitely tell it was hail."

The last time snow fell in Auckland was eight years ago on August 15 when a polar blast forced snow to fall in parts of the upper North Island.

Aucklanders then were shocked to find themselves in the midst of a snow flurry on Queen St in the CBD, while Bombay Primary students made the most of the unusual occurrence at school.

Pupils from Bombay Primary School have some fun as it snows outside their school in August 2011. Photo / File
Pupils from Bombay Primary School have some fun as it snows outside their school in August 2011. Photo / File

Meanwhile, parts of the South Island were pelted with snow today forcing major highways and ski-fields to close.

Significant snowfall was expected to about 500m in the Kaikoura Ranges, the Canterbury High Country and foothills and also northern parts of Central Otago.

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By this evening, MetService meteorologist Angus Hines said most of the snow had already eased away from the nation.

"We have a couple of areas where there's potential for some more overnight snow. The most likely one being the Desert Road," he said.

Tomorrow the weather is expected to be calmer than today but Hines said any reprieve from the cold blast would be short-lived.

Thursday's weather would be more benign compared with today - apart from a handful of showers around the fringes of the country.

"The snow activity will be easing off for a day and then returning to some places at the end of the week," he said.

"There will be rain moving up the country [on Friday] and there's potential for some more snow in South Island areas and southwest winds will get another kick.

"In terms of rainfall, we have one system on Friday which is fairly intense but quite quickly moving by Saturday morning."

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Snowman! #cold #hail #winter

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