North and south to face extreme weather in the coming days

The north will be facing some thunderstorms and possible tornadoes, and the heavy snow is expected to visit the south, said recent weather warnings.

Cold weather has started travelling north on Tuesday, and heavy snow warning has been issued for Southland, southern Fiordsland and Clutha in the South Island; and the North Islands Hawke’s Bay Ranges and Central Plateau.

“It is shaping up to be a cold week,” said MetService Meteorologist John Law. “The combination of these cold temperatures with the showery airstream moving across New Zealand does mean we are likely to have snow falling to lower levels in many places.”

MetService said that two severe thunderstorms might hist an area from Waikato to Northland, and across some parts of Coromandel.

A severe thunderstorm watch was issued today for Auckland, Northland, and Waikato. The storms could cause heavy rain, flooding, and possibly some hail and tornado.

“If you’re out in those stronger winds and up over the higher ground, if you’re caught in those snow showers it’s going to reduce your visibility and it’s going to make it feel incredibly cold,” said Law. “And of course blizzard-like conditions at the tops of the high ground as well.”

Police in Southland has also warned of treacherous roads with widespread black ice, and are asking residents to be extra careful and vigilant. A number of crashes have already reportedly occurred. The New Zealand Transport Agency crew is on stand-but to keep the roads clear.

The rain is expected to leave by Friday. Meantime, forecasters are advising people to get layers ready and brace for the cold.

Visit metservice.com for latest forecasts and warnings.