4 Nov 2008

Cold snap to bring rain, gales and snow

10:13 pm on 4 November 2008

MetService is forecasting heavy rain, snow and strong winds for parts of New Zealand on Tuesday.

Heavy snow is predicted to fall in the lower South Island. MetService says a cold snap caused by an anti-cyclone to the far south of Australia will affect areas of Fiordland, Southland and Otago.

Heavy rain is forecast for the Westland area.

Northwest gales of up to 140km/h are expected in the upper South Island and the lower North Island on Tuesday.

Motorists in Marlborough, Canterbury, Wellington and Wairarapa are advised to take extreme care.

Farmers in the South Island say livestock will not be at risk despite the likelihood of heavy snow. Up to 15 centimetres is expected to fall to 400 metres above sea level, with further snow showers predicted for Wednesday.

Farmers in Wanaka, Dunedin and Invercargill say their stock still have their winter fleece to keep them warm, while their lambs are three weeks old and strong enough to cope with the temperatures.

MetService expects the weather will ease in most places by Wednesday morning.