Hundreds of households across the Wakatipu Basin were left without power last night due to "extreme'' weather conditions due to strike the North Island today.

According to Aurora Energy's website, 360 customers in Glenorchy, 270 at Arthurs Point, 73 at Lower Shotover and Speargrass Flat, and 69 at Frankton are still without power.

The spring snowfall brought both chaos and cheer to the Queenstown Lakes district and beyond.

About 15cm settled in some suburbs of Queenstown.

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Heavy snow only encouraged keen photographers of the tree growing in Lake Wanaka yesterday. Photo / Sean Nugent
Heavy snow only encouraged keen photographers of the tree growing in Lake Wanaka yesterday. Photo / Sean Nugent

Meanwhile it's the North Island's turn to weather the storm today as heavy rain and gale force winds are predicted to come thick and fast in western and northern areas.

The dumping of snow in the South Island that caused road closures, power outages and other problems are still causing headaches as hundreds were still without power in the Wakatipu Basin.


MetService said a front preceded by a moist northwesterly flow moved over the North Island last night bringing heavy rain to the west.

The heavy snow down south, which began early yesterday and continued until about noon, loaded tree branches, bringing some down on to power lines and others across roads.

Crews from lines company Aurora Energy battled "extreme conditions'' throughout the day to restore power to 3000 properties.

Enjoying the white weather in Queenstown are (from left) Lauren McGlynn, Shannon White, Danika Elley, and Bernice Hay, all of Australia. Photo / Paul Taylor
Enjoying the white weather in Queenstown are (from left) Lauren McGlynn, Shannon White, Danika Elley, and Bernice Hay, all of Australia. Photo / Paul Taylor

But at 5.30pm yesterday, 1436 households were told to prepare "to be without power overnight''.

"Power will be restored as quickly as is safely possible but extreme conditions are hampering our response,'' Aurora external relations adviser Karen Melville said.

A heavy rain warning is in place around Mt Taranaki with a further 80mm expected to accumulate on top of what has already fallen with peak rates of 10 to 20mm an hour.

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A sub-tropical low was expected to reach the Far North today.

"There remains some uncertainty as to the exact track of this low, but a period of heavy rain and strong to gale southeasterly winds are likely in Northland and Great Barrier Island during Tuesday."

A rain watch was in place for Northland and Great Barrier Island with up to 60mm of rain expected to fall in 12 hours.

The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research said the rain in the Far North was likely to hit Auckland after the morning commute.

A snow warning was in place for the Lindis Pass (SH8) and the Crown Range Road.

Yesterday the skifields surrounding Queenstown received dumps of snow up to 45cm while services closer to the ground were affected.

A weather update is expected at 9am today and all schools in the Queenstown Lakes district are closed for the day.

At least 16 arrivals were cancelled at Queenstown Airport yesterday, five flights landed and two more were due in the evening.

Seventeen departures were cancelled, four managed to fly out, and two more flights were due to leave.

Looking ahead, the weather was predicted to improve by the weekend but more cold and wet weather stood between hopeful New Zealanders and fine weather.

On Wednesday the low was expected to move eastward, weakening, while a ridge of high pressure from the South Island spreads north.

"Strong northwesterlies develop over the south of the South Island ahead of a front overnight Wednesday.

"This front is expected to move over the South Island and weaken on Thursday," MetService said.

On Friday, the end of the work week for most would spell another cold front moving over southern New Zealand followed by chilly southwesterlies.

"Another ridge is expected to move on to the country from the Tasman Sea on Saturday. There is no broad scale severe weather expected on Friday and Saturday."

- Additional reporting: Otago Daily Times

Today's weather

Whangārei

: Rain developing from mid-morning, possibly heavy. Southeast strengthening and becoming gusty. High 18C Low 14C

Auckland: Cloudy. Chance shower before periods of rain from late afternoon. Light winds before southerlies. High 19C Low 13C

Tauranga: Often cloudy, the odd shower turning to rain evening. Easterly breezes. High 18C Low 13C

Napier: Cloud increasing, with rain at times from late morning. Light winds. High 19C Low 10C

New Plymouth: Rain clearing late morning, then fine spells increasing. Southeast breezes. High 16C Low 9C

Whanganui: Fine spells, chance early morning shower. Southerly breezes. High 17C Low 8.C

Wellington: Fine. Winds mostly light, southeasterlies about the south coast. High 14C Low 6C

Christchurch: Fine, possible morning frosts. Southwesterlies developing morning, turning northeast afternoon. High 14C Low 3C

Dunedin: Some rain before sunrise, then fine. Southwesterlies turn northerly afternoon. High 15C Low 6C