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A large low that has formed in the Tasman Sea will this afternoon send fronts on to northern New Zealand kicking off a wet start to Labour Weekend.

The Weather Watch Centre’s Head weather analyst Philip Duncan says driving conditions from the North Island’s two major centre’s will be poor this afternoon or evening. “There are three fronts that will affect motorists today. Our Travel Forecast says both Auckland and Wellington motorists will be facing wet roads as they leave with especially heavy rain through Northland”.

He says for those leaving later tonight conditions may be even worse. “Rain will become heavier and more widespread over northern New Zealand tonight. Heavy falls are likely after midnight and during Saturday in Coromandel and Bay of Plenty”.

But while the North Island will be relatively mild and wet, the South Island’s in for a wintry surprise. “Motorists leacing Christchurch and Dunedin today should have a mostly dry run but a cold front will move up the South Island tomorrow bringing snow to the ranges and a bitterly cold drop in temperatures. It’ll be quite similar to what Sydney experienced the other day”. Mr Duncan says on Sunday places like Invercargill, Dunedin and may be as far north as Christchurch will struggle to reach beyond 10 degrees”.

Out of the main centres Wellington is likely to be wet, windy and cold for the first two days of the long weekend but sunnier, warmer weather will return by Monday.

Mr Duncan says there’s still good news. “Conditions will considerably improve for Monday right across New Zealand with winds and showers easing and warmth returning to most places that were cold the day before”.


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