Heavy snow to blanket much of South Island as cold front rolls through

Snow is expected to low levels in parts of the South Island (File photo).


Snow is expected to low levels in parts of the South Island (File photo).

Expect frigid temperatures in the south, travel disruptions and heavy snow to fall around some areas of Southland, Otago and Canterbury as a winter blast sweeps through.

Snow is expected to fall to low levels in parts of the South Island on Sunday, with travel disruption likely especially on alpine roads, thanks to a cold front moving up the country.

The front was sitting over Southland about 7am on Sunday then was expected in Christchurch about 3pm and Wellington late on Sunday night, MetService meteorologist David Miller said.

* Weather: Thunderstorms, tornados, gales and low snow all on the cards for coming days
* Weather: Heavy snow risk for central areas, damaging swells, freezing level starts rising in far south
* Weather: Snow expected to blanket the far south, strong 130kmh gales forecast

Christchurch’s Port Hills could expect some snow while parts of Southland and Otago would have snow to 100m above sea level.

Wellington was not expected to have any snow except for the chance of some on the Tararua range peaks.

Invercargill, Queenstown, and Wānaka were expected to drop to -1C on Sunday night, while Christchurch was expected to drop to 1C and Wellington to 6C, after a day when the temperature was expected to reach a 15C high before the front arrived in the capital.

The cold front was also bringing rains as it passed over.

Strong easterly winds were expected up the South Island west coast.

Meanwhile, further north in Auckland there was some rain on Sunday from an unassociated front.

A strong wind watch for Wellington and Wairarapa has now passed.

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