A cold front is racing towards the South Island this afternoon with bitterly cold air behind it, prompting government forecaster MetService to issue heavy snow warnings.
The warnings cover Southland, Southern Lakes, Fiordland and Westland.
On Saturday night snow may fall as low as 200 metres in Southland and weather analyst Philip Duncan says Invercargill may see a few flakes. “This is a very cold snap but not particularly severe snow-wise. However we do expect snow flurries to very low levels around Southland which may be of concern to farmers”.
Mr Duncan says much of Southland and Otago will be lucky to rise over double digits this weekend and wind chills will be extreme in exposed places. “We may be looking at wind chills well below zero so farmers should move new born lambs to sheltered places”.
WeatherWatch.co.nz expects southerlies to reach gale force in exposed places during Saturday afternoon and night adding to the wintry cold.
Conditions should ease on Sunday and Monday in the South Island.