Cold snap to be short lived - high on the way

Forecasters say the latest cold snap to hit the country is rare for this time of year. 

The snow has arrived early to the lower South Island and the Desert Road - and most parts of the country are in for a cold and blustery start to the day.

It isn't often that such wintry conditions arrive in the middle of April - as a frigid morning unfolds in the South Island.

Weather Video: Winter's brief visit

A short sharp wintry snap is hitting parts of New Zealand across Monday and Tuesday with snow to low levels, strong winds and a drop in temperatures nationwide.

However it is short lived – with a warmer change arriving towards this weekend.

Some rain or showers also on the way for all four drought regions.

Snow is falling in the South Island - Gore coldest place in the country

Snow is falling in parts of the South Island this morning thanks to a cold snap making its way across the country.

Satellite images show a cold front, which has brought snow and icy temperatures to the south, is now already moving across the North Island.

Temperatures are just one degree C in places such as Lumsden and Queenstown, while Gore hasn't even got there yet. 

Dust off the overcoats - #WeatherRisks for Monday

In case you haven't heard, this week is set to give us our first real taste of wintry weather, with a low sitting to the east of New Zealand dragging cold air over the country today, while the North Island also deals with a frontal system early doors.

POLL RESULTS: Most New Zealanders happy with Daylight Saving

It's probably for the best that most New Zealanders seem to be on board with Daylight Saving as a concept and a part of kiwi life, as it has been for more than 40 years now.

We asked in our latest poll "Daylight Saving - good or bad?" and the overwhelming response was - as it seems to be most years - good.

USA - Residents still missing after deadly Tornado in Illinois (+VIDEO)

Rescue crews worked through the night and into Friday morning in Fairdale, Illinois, sifting through the rubble of the town devastated by a deadly tornado, but authorities say a couple of people are still unaccounted for.

Week in Weather: What's Been Making Headlines this Week

Another shorter week, but one that was jam packed with weather and environmental news from here and around the world...

Australia: Queensland farmers 'walking away' from drought ravaged land

After years of struggling without adequate rain, a young family in Queensland has made the emotional and difficult decision to walk off the land.

Nic and Carley Walker struggled to keep their cattle and sheep alive after three consecutive so-called wet seasons failed to deliver any decent rain.

West Auckland women save Pohutukawa trees

Filed in:

Women of a West Auckland coastal village have stopped an Auckland Council contractor's crew felling a pohutukawa tree on a popular park eroded by stormy seas.

They fear up to 30 trees could be threatened, but an official says it is not known how many trees will be felled. 

Fonterra launches fund to help struggling farmers

Fonterra has launched a scheme to prevent farmers getting into too much bank debt and find alternative sources of investment. 

It's set up an Equity Partnership Trust to facilitate farmers looking for alternative capital investment outside the bank debt. 

KPMG Agribusiness spokeswoman Julia Jones says Fonterra won't be directly investing in that fund.