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South Island snow continues, North next

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 4/08/2016

As heavy snowfall blankets much of the South Island, the North Island is set to get hit next.

A low pressure system moving slowly north is expected to dump up to 50cm of snow above 400 metres around inland Hawke's Bay and eastern Taihape.

Snow drifts could reach 1m between Friday night and early Sunday morning, the MetService has forecast.

Coastal Hawke's Bay areas can expect up to 200mm of rain over the same period.

Snowfall is expected to continue in the Canterbury Plains and Kaikoura coast, with up to 25cm expected above 400 metres early this weekend.

Inland parts of Canterbury, including the Mackenzie Basin and Kaikoura hills, could see some snowfall down to 100m.

"Heavy snow can cause major disruption to transport as well as significant stress to livestock and could damage powerlines," the MetService warned.

"Blizzard conditions are also likely in exposed areas of the North Island."

Motorists travelling on some major South Island roads have already been affected.

State Highway 8 between Tekapo and Fairlie is closed, as is SH1 north of Dunedin.

Bus services in Dunedin's hill suburbs were suspended on Friday morning due to snow.

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