The Desert Road is open today after more snow and icy conditions closed it overnight, as more bone-chilling weather moves onto the country.

Police are urging motorists to drive cautiously on the Desert Road as it is expected to be still icy in places.

A cold front carrying some hail was expected to move up the South Island today, the MetService said.

The Desert Road's northern section between Rangipo and Waiouru was closed overnight, but the southern section between Waiouru and Taihape was kept open after being checked by roading contractors.

State Highway 3 through the Manawatu Gorge between Palmerston North and Woodville is opened to two lanes again today after a large slip caused by rain delayed motorists earlier yesterday.

There's some relief in sight -- warmer and fine conditions will affect most of the country later in the week.