Snow in Mt Cook village early on Friday.
Snow in Mt Cook village early on Friday.
Heavy snow blanketed parts of the South Island early Friday, while heavy rain was expected to continue in some central parts of the North Island and on the West Coast from Friday afternoon.

Snow in the Mackenzie Basin and Central Otago on Friday morning closed schools and state highways, and halted a bus service.

Aoraki/Mt Cook Village resident Sharlene McKinlay said it had been snowing all night in the area and there was moderate and continuous snow falling at 6.30am Friday.

McKinlay said there was also at least 30cm of snow on SH80 and snow ploughing was being done within the village only.

Alpine Energy said there was a power outage in some parts of inland South Canterbury.

State Highway 6 was closed due to fallen trees and snow on Friday morning.
State Highway 6 was closed due to fallen trees and snow on Friday morning.
Temperatures across the North Island have also been unusually warm for the time of year.

"The biggest influence has been the source of the air, which is to the north of us," MetService communications meteorologist John Law said.

Auckland Airport had a July record of 19.8C and Palmerston North had a July record 19.5C. There was also a July record of 21.1C at Whanganui Airport, which had some of the best sunshine on a day when most of the country was cloudy.

Overnight Friday temperatures would also be warm for the time of year in the North Island and top of the South Island, Law said.

MetService expected some of the heaviest rain through to 11pm Friday to be in the Bay of Plenty east of Opotiki, and in the ranges of Gisborne north of Ruatoria.

Rain could also be heavy until 8pm Friday in Rotorua, and Bay of Plenty about and west of Opotiki.

MetService issued a heavy swell warning for the Kāpiti and Porirua coasts for Saturday, with northwest combined waves forecast to rise to 4m.

Late morning Friday, MetService issued new road snowfall warnings for Saturday afternoon and into the night, covering Lewis Pass, Arthur's Pass, Porters Pass, and Lindis Pass.

At Arthur's Pass as much as 25cm of snow could accumulate above 800m, with lesser amounts to 500m or even lower, MetService said.

There was also a warning for the Crown Range Road through to early afternoon Saturday.

Mid-afternoon Friday, State Highway 6 was closed between Makarora and Haast due to fallen trees and heavy snow.

SH8 between Fairlie and Twizel reopened about 1pm, after being closed earlier by heavy snow, but Waka Kotahi warned of winter driving conditions and urged drivers to take extra care.