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Forecast snow brings hope to skiers

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 16/05/2016

Strong winds, heavy rain and even snow is forecast to hit parts of the country, forecasters warn.

Drivers are urged to exercise caution with 1-2cm of snow expected over State Highway 8 on the top of Lindis Pass in the South Island on Monday night.

Meteorologist Emma Blades says while the white stuff isn't expected to stick around for long, it's a sign winter is approaching following a warmer than usual April and May.

"We would normally have had snow down to that level by now," she said.

South Island ski fields are due to open next month.

Separate severe weather warnings are in place for the west of the South Island and the Tararua Ranges where heavy rain is forecast on Monday afternoon through to Tuesday.

Severe gales of up to 120km/h are also expected to hit Christchurch and the Banks Peninsula overnight.

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