HEAVY SNOW AND SOUTHWEST GALES FOR SOUTHERN NEW ZEALAND AND BANKS PENINSULA A very cold southwest flow is spreading north over the country tonight and Monday morning.
Snow is falling to sea level about the lower South Island, with significant accumulations above 200 metres for parts of Fiordland, Southland and Otago.
The heaviest snow is expected in the south tonight (Sunday) and Monday morning, then about Banks Peninsula Monday morning and afternoon above 300 metres.
Heavy snow in these regions is likely to cause major disruption to traffic and make driving conditions hazardous.
Farmers are advised that stock may need shelter from the extreme cold and snow.
In addition, severe southwest gales gusting 130 km/h are expected about exposed parts of Stewart Island, coastal parts of Southland and Otago, and Banks Peninsula from tonight through to Tuesday morning.
Winds of this strength could topple trees, damage powerlines and unsecured structures.
Coupled with the expected snow in these areas, the blizzard like conditons will make travel difficult.