Cold air moving up NZ, winds increasing again - the latest Maps (x6)

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Colder air is moving up the country with snow lowering in the South Island and hail showers and squalls moving up the western side of both main islands.

Westerlies are turning south west today across New Zealand and the big blast of polar air will make for a colder than average Sunday in the South Island and and colder than normal day across much of the country on Monday.

Sunday's national forecast - here comes the colder air

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Friday was a windy day, now we have the coldest day or two coming in and it also comes with another surge of windy south to south west winds which don't ease nationwide until Monday evening.

2019 Solar Winter ends this weekend, but then it may get colder

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Saturday marked the end of the Solar Winter in the southern hemisphere - the 3 months with the least amount of available sunlight. The Solar Winter starts 6 weeks before the shortest day and ends 6 weeks after. This year the shortest day was on June 22, meaning the end of the Solar Winter was around August 3rd.

Rain and Snow Accumulation Maps next 2 to 5 days (+4 Maps)

We have plenty of rain and snow coming in for New Zealand in the days ahead, most of it falling over the western side of the country and the Southern Alps.

The main surge of cold air comes through on Sunday and Monday nationwide - easing by Monday evening.

Windy weather surges back in again on Sunday too, with a blustery 24 hours in many places.

VIDEO: Stormy and sunny spells this weekend + August sees a weather pattern change

We’re in for a rough weekend and a wintry kick off to next week as a Southern Ocean storm falls apart over NZ this weekend.

Dangerous seas, heavy snow, strong to gale force winds and squally showers are all in the forecast up until Monday.

15m waves, 1m of snow, severe gales, squally rain - Here are 4 maps to make sense of it all

A Southern Ocean storm is pouncing on the South Island today bringing 15 metre waves to the remote south west corner along with severe gales, heavy snow and squally downpours with hail and isolated thunder spreading elsewhere across New Zealand.

Southern Ocean storm to roar into NZ on Friday, kicks off windy wintry weekend (+8 Maps)

A storm in the Southern Ocean is rushing towards NZ and will hit the South Island on Friday before breaking up over the North Island on Friday night and Saturday. It's the beginning of a wintry blast of weather coming in across New Zealand for four days, not easing until Monday night with the cold peaking on Sunday and Monday, after the main winds.

Even colder air this weekend for the south, rain and snow leans west & south (+2 Maps)

Another surge of even colder air will move in to the country this weekend, mostly the South Island, with snow in some main centres and bitterly cold daytime highs.

Once again temperatures look to be the biggest feature with a dramatic drop in daytime highs in the lower South Island this weekend and early next week, some inland have afternoon highs around freezing.

VIDEO: We’re not done with the cold! Another wintry surge arrives on Sunday

Gales, heavy rain, squalls and snow to low levels along with bitterly cold wind chills are all in the forecast for NZ in the next few days ahead - while some in the east will have plenty of sunshine and dry.

On Friday a secondary surge of weather moves in from the Southern Ocean bringing rain, snow and gales to the South Island.

It's August - Yes, the days ARE getting longer, here's some stats to make you smile

Winter can be a gloomy time and sometimes leads to depression, which is why we have some positive news - the days are getting longer already!