15 May 2011

An end to the balmy weather

12:45 pm on 15 May 2011

May's mild temperatures are about to brought to come to an end with the MetService forecasting several days of cold, stormy weather as a series of cold fronts cross the country.

The weather warnings include severe northwest gales for Wairarapa, Wellington and Marlborough in the early hours of Sunday, spreading to Hawke's Bay, Southland and Otago later in the day.

The winds could reach 120km an hour in exposed parts, strong enough to damage trees, powerlines and insecure structures and make driving hazardous, especially for high-sided vehicles and motorcycles.

The MetService says northwest Nelson and Buller can also expect heavy rain from the frontal system.

On Sunday night, heavy snow as low as 300 metres is forecast for eastern Southland and Clutha and parts of Fiordland.

The MetService says the snowfalls will be accompanied by strong to gale winds and farmers are advised to shelter any vulnerable livestock.

The cold, stormy conditions are expected to persist until Tuesday.