Wednesday's national forecast


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A very unsettled day is expected across most of the country.

Heavy rain, strong wind and snow is expected to make things difficult in many parts of the country.  Heavy snow warnings remain in effect for Canterbury and Marlborough south of Seddon.  By the time the storm wraps up tonight, snow fall totals could approach 100cm above 300m.  15cm to 40cm is expected between 100m and 300m.  Some settling is possible at sea level.

Strong wind warnings remain in effect for Nelson, Buller and Westland from Hokitika northwards.  Sou’easterlies could approach 130 km/h before easing this evening.

Heavy rain warnings are up for the eastern ranges of Bay of Plenty and Gisborne north of Ruatoria.  Rainfall rates of up 15 to 20mm per hour are possible this morning with total rain fall amounts reaching between 120mm and 160mm before the storm eases tomorrow morning.

Heavy rain warnings also remain in place for northwest Nelson, Buller and Westland from Hokitika northwards.  Rainfall totals of 130 to 180mm are possible before the storm winds down tonight.

Some sunshine is expected for the deep south today.  Southland and Otago could see a fairly dry day.  However, it will be a chilly one with highs likely remaining in the single digits.

The lower half of the North Island can expect clouds and rain most of the day today.  The upper half, aside from the far eastern sections, may see some sunshine early today but clouds will return and more rain is expected by late morning or early afternoon.

By WeatherWatch Analyst Howard Joseph