Old man Winter has brought snow to the country, with four weather warnings issued for the North and South Island.

The wintery-white conditions come courtesy of a cold southerly wind ushering a colder air mass over the country, seeing temperatures dip across the country.

A heavy snow watch is in place for Banks Peninsula for the next 12 hours.

Snow amounts may approach warning criteria above 400m during that time, MetService warned.


Northwest, a road snowfall warning has been issued for State Highway 7, Lewis Pass, from 3am onwards on Thursday.

Snow showers are expected to affect eastern parts of the road during Thursday morning.

One centimetre or less of snow may accumulate above 400m, with lesser amounts to 300m.

As the cold air blankets the North Island, the central and lower areas may also see snowfalls down to low levels, MetService warned.

"People are reminded to check out the latest forecasts, especially the road snow warnings, if they've got road trips planned around the country this week," MetService meteorologist Mmathapelo Makgabutlane said.

Two road snowfall warnings have been issued in the North Island: for SH1 along the Desert Rd and for SH2 at Remutaka Hill Rd, with the worst weather to hit from early Thursday morning.

Heavy snow means SH1 between Waiouru Rangipo (Desert Rd) remains closed, with a detour in place.

Up to 10cm of snow was expected to fall this evening, with up to 1cm of snowfall on SH5 Napier-Taupō Rd expected before 9pm. Taihape-Napier Rd is closed overnight.


Snow showers are expected during Thursday morning about and south of the summit, the MetService warning said.

Between 2am and noon on Thursday, 2cm to 4cm of snow may accumulate above 600m.

Lesser amounts of snow are expected to fall to 400m.

Snow showers are expected to fall along Remutaka Hill Rd from the wee hours of Thursday morning.

Up to 2cm of snow may accumulate in the period before 10am around the summit, with lesser amounts to 400m.

A spell of more settled weather is likely to come through towards the weekend across the country, which will be appreciated by those who will have missed getting out and about, MetService said.


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