UPDATE: 3 Day Snow & Rain accumulation maps, plus Temperature map as Winter arrives!


Saturday is the first day of winter on the meteorological calendar and Mother Nature is playing her part with a roaring cold southerly.

Many regions will have a burst or two of heavy rain and plenty of showers over the next 24 to 48 hours with strong south to south west winds dropping temperatures by several degrees nationwide. Snow falls at higher levels and showers bring hail to sea level.

While some regions do escape the wind and rain this weekend (like the West Coast) no one escapes the cold. Saturday is below average in almost every part of the country at the warmest point of the day and by Saturday night every single part of the country will be below average temperaturewise.

Things warm up and calm down by Queen's Birthday Monday so it's not all bad news for the long weekend. Tuesday looks warmer and sunnier with sub-tropical nor'westers forming (but ahead of another blast of wind and rain next Wednesday nationwide).

- WeatherWatch.co.nz