A severe weather watch is in place for parts of central and southern New Zealand tonight with heavy snow forecast for the lower South Island, according to MetService.
It comes as people in Central Otago are being warned to prepare for a potentially cold night without power this evening with outages in some parts of the region.
Aurora Energy said this afternoon strong winds in the region caused “significant damage” to powerlines in and around Roxburgh, Ettrick and Clyde and while crews are working as fast as possible to repair them, it may not be enough.
“A complex front moves northeast across the South Island tonight and overnight, then over the North Island during Wednesday,” MetService said in a statement tonight.
“This front is preceded by strong north to northwest winds, and followed by a cold southwest change. Warnings and watches for wind, rain, and snow are now in force for parts of central and southern New Zealand."
Meanwhile, a heavy rain watch is forecast for the ranges of Bay Of Plenty east of Whakatane and Gisborne north of Ruatoria from 6.00am to 4.00pm tomorrow.
Heavy rain is also forecast for Mount Taranaki from 8.00pm tonight to 3.00pm tomorrow and in the Nelson ranges west of Motueka from 8:00 pm tonight to 3:00 am tomorrow.
A heavy snow watch is in place for Canterbury High Country south of Twizel, and inland parts of Otago north of Alexandra from 10:00 pm tonight to 6:00 am tomorrow.
Snow is forecast to lower to 300 metres tonight and may briefly become heavy. Snow amounts may approach warning criteria above 700 metres during this time.
The snow watch also applies to:
Northern parts of Southland, and inland parts of Otago about and south of Alexandra
From 1:00 am to 8:00 am tomorrow.
Fiordland south of Dusky Sound
From 11:00 pm tonight to 6:00 am tomorrow.
Snow is forecast to lower to 200 metres overnight, and may become heavy for a time. Snow amounts may approach warning criteria above 400 metres.
Taranaki has a strong wind watch about and south of the mountain, northern parts of Whanganui, and Taihape from 8:00 pm tonight to 4:00 am tomorrow.
North to northwest winds may approach severe gale in exposed places at times.
The same warning applies for Marlborough from 8:00 pm tonight to 6:00 am tomorrow.
Buller, and Westland about and north of Hokitika for seven hours from 8:00 pm tonight to 3:00 am tomorrow and Canterbury Plains north of Ashburton, including Banks Peninsula from 8:00 pm Tuesday to 5:00 am tomorrow.