Hail, thunderstorms, snow forecast

07:21, Oct 06 2012
Invercargill hail
COLD SNAP: Invercargill streets were covered in hail and ice on Saturday as the weather turned cold and wet.

Hail, thunderstorms and snow are expected in the South Island, while southerly winds, showers and thunder storms are expected to gatecrash the Phoenix party in Wellington.

Metservice forecaster Stephen Glassey said the storms should hit the capital around 7pm.

''We are forecasting a southerly change. It went through Kaikoura just after 4pm. They had very strong winds - about 100kph. It looks like it's going to come into Wellington.

''It probably won't be as strong as it was in Kaikoura ... [but] there's the possibility of showers and thunder storms. We've got a moderate risk of thunder storm with the [southerly] change.''

MetService released a severe weather watch for Otago and Southland and forecasters expected cold southwesterlies to spark snowfall.

Snow showers were expected in Fiordland, Southland and parts of Otago, duty forecaster Heath Gullery said.

Forecasts showed gale force winds would tear through exposed areas in the South Island bringing "significant windchill", he said.  

The bad weather was expected to coincide with the Wellington Phoenix football season opener against Sydney FC at the Westpac Stadium.

 ''It's not going to last long. Any showers that do eventuate will be short. They could be heavy but they won't last," Glassey said

''We're expecting fine weather tomorrow, with the southerly dying out in the morning.''

About 1cm of snow is expected to fall at the summit of the Rimutaka Hill Road overnight.

Snow showers were affecting the road but should clear overnight, however icy conditions were likely.

The Desert Road is also affected by snow showers with about 2 to 3cm expected to accumulate overnight.

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