Washing machine of weather

A massive low south east of New Zealand has been causing severe weather events around the country.

While Wellington has been enjoying a clear sunny day, a rain system currently over the Nelson region would bring rain and gusts by late afternoon.

The capital was being protected by the mountains at the top of the South Island from westerly winds causing snow and icy conditions in the Nelson region, MetService spokesman Daniel Corbett said.

Thunderstorms were expected for the Kapiti Coast up to Levin later in the day, while Hawke's Bay should get strong gusts.

More snow was expected to fall on the Desert Rd tonight, which has been closed to traffic since last night.

Mr Corbett said a weather system south east of the country was like the centre of a washing machine with small ''lumps'' of bad weather breaking off it and moving over the country.

A high over the Tasman Sea would move over New Zealand, squeezing out the low system and bringing more settled weather.

Wellington's weather should improve for the rest the week, with a clear sunny day expected on Saturday.

''If you had a calendar of weather you'd put a big star next to Saturday, it's the kind of day that makes you say 'ahh'. There are just a few niggles to get through before then.''

Contact Sophie Speer
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Email: sophie.speer@dompost.co.nz
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The Dominion Post