Low temperatures and snow for South Island

Keep your heaters and woolly jumpers on hand as rain and snow above 500 metres are forecast for some of the South Island to kick off Queen's Birthday Weekend.

MetService meteorologist Elke Louw said the news was not all bad, with conditions expected to settle as the weekend progressed.

South Islanders should have the electric blankets ready with overnight temperatures dropping as low as -4 degrees Celsius this weekend.

The clear skies and dry conditions over the South Island during the weekend would make for a chilly start for the Christchurch airport marathon on Sunday, Louw said.

Minimum temperatures were forecast to dip below freezing across the South Island and daytime temperatures would be struggling into the low double figures.

On the plus side it should be a dry and fine on Sunday, not only for Christchurch but also widely across the South Island.

An easterly flow was expected to develop late on Sunday over the upper North Island bringing cloudy conditions, and patchy rain for Northland and Auckland.

Gisborne and Hawke's Bay would also be hit with showers this weekend.

The rain was expected to turn to showers for Auckland and Northland heading into Monday, and clearing on Tuesday, Louw said.

However, a few damp days were still on the books for Hawke's Bay and Gisborne.

Auckland would hit a high of 18C on Monday but temperatures were expected to dip as low as 7C tomorrow night.

For the remainder of New Zealand the high was expected to linger, which would bring generally fine conditions and light winds with just a few showers expected in the far south.

Wellington was set for clear but chilly days, with a low of 5C tomorrow night and a weekend high of 14C.