Weather: Mostly settled weather for majority of the country this week

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Newborn lambs in Cornwall Park, a signal spring is just around the corner. Photo / Alex Burton

With spring just around the corner, temperatures will start to rise slightly. However, winter is still sticking its claws in, with snow continuing to fall in the south.

Tomorrow is expected to be partly cloudy in Auckland, with a few showers that briefly become widespread in the late afternoon and early evening. Northwesterly winds are forecast to change to the southwest in the late afternoon.

A significant snowfall is anticipated overnight at the ski areas in Queenstown and Wānaka, giving skiers a fresh beginning this week.

According to MetService meteorologist Clare O’Connor, the central North Island ski fields may only see a sprinkling of snow, rather than a substantial dump.


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She said a cold front is heading up the South Island today, bringing freezing temperatures and snowfall that will reach elevations of 400 metres in Fiordland and 600-700m in mountain ranges, with Milford Rd scheduled to close tonight.

Tomorrow, a heavy snow watch is in effect for Fiordland, with the potential for thunderstorms.

The moderate risk of thunderstorms over the western South Island decreases briefly in the late afternoon over Fiordland before increasing again in the early evening.

Later in the day, the moderate risk moves further north to affect northern Westland and southern Buller. These thunderstorms produce brief periods of heavy rain and snow up to 500 and 800m in the south and north, respectively. Small amounts of hail are also a possibility.


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MetService has also issued road snowfall warnings overnight and through tomorrow for the Lewis Pass, Arthur’s Pass, Haast Pass, Lindis Pass and Crown Range Rd.

Heavy swell warnings of 4m or higher have been issued for Kāpiti-Porirua, Wellington south and Wairarapa beaches for the next two days.

According to MetService this morning, cloud cover was a comforting blanket overnight, keeping some places warmer than the previous night, especially in and around the central North Island. “Sunday Shiver Shout-out” winners were Twizel (-3C) and Waiuru (-1C).

When the cold front finally does make it to the North Island, it will bring a few showers before the sky clears. The east coast tomorrow evening, including Hawke’s Bay, Gisborne and Taupō, will be exceptions and can expect showers.

On Tuesday, there will be rain or showers in the western parts of the country due to an unsettled northwest flow.

There is a low likelihood that rainfall totals in Buller and Westland will meet warning standards, mostly about the ranges.

Cold and rainy southwesterly winds move over the nation on Wednesday; they then subside on Thursday as a ridge of high pressure offers more stable weather.

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