Wednesday: Heavy rain, heavy snow and isolated thunderstorms (+4 Maps)


A burst of severe weather will cross the North Island on Wednesday bringing heavy rain, thunderstorms and then heavy snow to central New Zealand.

Currently the North Island has sub-tropical winds developing (a real change from a day or two ago!) while the South Island continues with the colder southerly flow. On Wednesday this moisture laden sub-tropical air will move into this colder South Island airflow - the result will make for heavy snow in the ranges, mainly around Kaikoura and the ranges of the North Island from Central Plateau southwards. 

Thunderstorms will also affect Northland and maybe Auckland - they look hit and miss but the warm to colder transition should spark a few.

There may be a dusting of snow on the Desert Road, but for now rain looks more likely there.

The low will take all of Wednesday to cross the North Island, so keep up to date with any possible rain warnings, snow warnings and marine warnings as the sub-tropical portion may create rain heavy enough to cause slips and flooding in some areas.

By Thursday - and peaking Friday - the entire country has another big windy, cold, change coming. This eases over the weekend as high pressure returns.

- WeatherWatch.co.nz