Canterbury to shiver with snow to low levels

23:43, Jul 20 2014

Christchurch is in for a bitter start to the week with sleety showers and a chance of snow.

Hail and snowfall down to 100 metres on Banks Peninsula and the Port Hills are likely by tonight while Christchurch city can expect freezing temperatures, sleet and possibly snow.

The frigid outbreak, which will be accompanied by strong south to southwest winds and blizzard-like conditions in some places, especially on Banks Peninsula, is forecast to peak tonight.

MetService duty forecaster Liz Walsh said it would be the "type of cold that gets into your bones" today and tomorrow.

The east coast of both the North and South Island were in for some wintry weather while Southland and Fiordland could expect snowfall down to 200 metres, she said.

"There's definitely going to be some significant weather happening around the country over the next two days."

Walsh said by Wednesday the weather would start to improve but clear skies would keep the temperatures down.

MetService issued snow warnings for the Lindis Pass, Porters Pass, Lewis Pass and Milford Road yesterday.

In the Lindis Pass, about two to four centimetres of snow was expected above 300 metres overnight.

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