Queen's Birthday brings a winter punch to the South Island

Dunedin, Frost, Weather
Dunedin plummeted to -6degC overnight in 2008 bringing frost and ice across the city (Getty)

It's official, winter is here.

Queen's Birthday weekend wasn't too kind to much of the country and it looks like Jack Frost will pay a visit to the south during the start of the week.

A scatter of negative temperatures will hit the South Island over the coming days with Invercargill getting the worst, expected to drop to -3degC on Monday night.

Gore, Alexandra, Queenstown and Wanaka are also expected to drop below 0degC.

Those negative temperatures are forecast to stick around. Alexandra and Wanaka will hang around -2degC and -1degC respectively on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

According to MetService, the cold temperatures will extend across the island with 0degC expected in Timaru and Reefton on Wednesday night too.

The writing has been on the wall for a number of weeks now that winter was near.

With the freezing temperatures, frost and ice are expected across the South Island and some warnings have already been put in place.

MetService says ice and frost can form with cold temperatures overnight, especially when the skies are clear. It is reiterating the need for drivers to be cautious when driving in the mornings.

Black ice is considered one of the most dangerous hazards for drivers in winter and forms when a wet surface is cooled to below 0degC and can sometimes be difficult to see.

More of the same can be expected throughout the coming months, according to MetService, but on a positive side, summer is now only five months away.