Heavy snow falls and ice have closed the Lewis Pass and Invercargill airport, and have led to warnings for all motorists on all alpine roads tonight.
WeatherWatch head weather analyst Philip Duncan said places like Greymouth, Westport and Hokitika were hovering around four or five degrees this afternoon, which is “incredibly rare.”
“The West Coast has had some of the most brutal weather this winter by a mile. They have had unbelievably cold weather for an area that is quite temperate and mild usually.”
Mr Duncan said heavy snow will reach sea level in some parts of Southland.
He said there is also “quite a high confidence of hail” around the west coast of the entire country including Auckland, Hamilton, New Plymouth, Wanganui and Palmerston North.
Dunedin is also forecast for a cold night and snow falls.
Emergency Management Southland has warned residents via Twitter to stay indoors and prepare for power outages.
Thanks to Kai Ullner in Adelaide, Australia for this link