Snow and cold briefly coming

More snow is being forecast for the South Island. File photo.

Another cold snap is coming but compared to a weak ago this one is tame - it's also likely to be followed by a large belt of high pressure which may well bring a sunny, dry, week to many places next week.

The peak of heavy rain earlier on the West Coast is now over but another period of moderate to heavy rain is expected this afternoon to evening, again mainly on the already saturated West Coast.

There's a slight chance thunderstorms may occur, says 

"Snow accumulation is likely over the Southern Alps, especially in the southern part, from this afternoon and overnight.

"While snow totals may be high in some areas, this is mainly higher up and away from populated areas, farms and highways - but if travelling on Alpine Passes just be up to date with the latest highway conditions."

Tonight temperatures will be unseasonably low in the South Island. Close to, or even below, 0C is
possible in the high country and well inland, raising the risk of frosts /freeze.

High pressure moves over the country on Sunday and may linger for much of next week bringing mainly dry weather to the country, especially the North Island and eastern New Zealand.