South and central in for winter blast

People from Wellington to Southland are about to get another blast of winter, while those in the north might be thinking spring is coming early.

Snow will dust areas of the country today with the potential to affect roads including Rimutaka Hill and Desert roads, while the long-range forecast for the north is for nine days of sunshine.

Snow could fall down to 400 metres on the Rimutaka Hill Road this afternoon, and down to 500m on State Highway 1 on the Desert Road by this evening, as a cold southerly flow moves across the country, MetService said.

Up to 2 centimetres of snow could fall in these areas, with further snow showers expected tomorrow morning.

Snow could fall about the Dunedin hill suburbs this morning and snow showers could hit areas of Canterbury, especially about Banks Peninsula where it could fall down to 20m.

The Lewis, Arthur's and Lindis passes in the South Island will all get snow, with 2cm likely to fall throughout the day, MetService said.

Temperatures for these areas will be chilly, as a cold, blustery southerly flow moves in.

Wellington is expected to reach 10 degrees Celsius on the thermometer, but with a cold southerly blowing it is likely to feel about half of that.

Christchurch and Dunedin will struggle to top 8C, with fresh, cold southwesterlies and showers the order of the day.

Showers will clear in the north and make for a fine day - not to mention fine weather for the next nine days.

Auckland should top 15C today, while Hamilton will do slightly better on 16C and Tauranga even better on 17C.

The long-range forecast for these areas, as well as down to Taranaki and Taupo, is quite remarkable, with bright sunshine predicted to last until Saturday next week.