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Cold snap to bring freezing temps, snow

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 2/08/2016
Snow © Corbis Snow

Traditionally the coldest month of winter, August isn't set to disappoint.

Overnight lows in Queenstown are expected to plummet to between -4C and -8C over the next 10 days while the forecast for Dunedin includes sleet and freezing rain.

Heavy snow forecast for parts of the South Island from Wednesday has prompted a severe weather warning from the MetService.

"The heaviest snow is likely about inland parts of Southland, Otago and South Canterbury south of Fairlie during Wednesday, with 20 to 30cm expected above 400 metres," the warning states.

"Further snow is likely in these areas during Thursday and Friday, and extends over remaining inland parts of Canterbury, possibly nearing sea level."

Around parts of Southland and Clutha, as much as 10cm of snow could fall down to 200 metres. There is also a warning that 70-90mm of rain could fall in just 12 hours in the Buller and Tararua ranges on Wednesday.

While responding to ice and speed related crashes in Dunedin, Southland and Clutha on Tuesday morning, police warned motorists to take extra care in frosty conditions.

"Remember to leave a bit earlier, increase following distances, avoid erratic steering movements or heavy breaking," police warned. 

Temperatures aren't expected to be as extreme in the North Island, but Wellington is still expected to experience five days of temperatures below 10C from Friday.

And if the temperatures weren't going to be cold enough, experts have predicted more southerly winds and fewer days with westerlies and northerlies.

But those in Auckland can still expect some sun with 17C forecast for Wednesday before a dip to highs of 12C.

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