Weather: Severe wind, rain and snow tears up country

Severe weather has brought down trees, cut out power and forced evacuations in parts of the country early on Wednesday morning.

MetService has predicted a "significant storm" and has put rain, wind and snow warnings in place.

The following is a real-time account of Wednesday morning's weather events.

8:10am - Power has been restored in Wellington.

8:05am - Snow blankets South Island

Now that it's daylight, a blanket of heavy snow can be seen across the South Island.

Weather: Severe wind, rain and snow tears up country
Photo credit: Peter Vanberke
Weather: Severe wind, rain and snow tears up country
Photo credit: Peter Vanberke

7:55am - Power outage in Wellington

Nearly 450 homes are without power in Wellington.

In Kaitoke and Te Marua 142 properties are affected, and another 300 are affected in Plimmerton and Pukerua Bay.

7:50am - Boat washes up on Nelson street

A boat was thrown ashore when the storm hit Nelson on Tuesday night.

Weather: Severe wind, rain and snow tears up country
Photo credit: Newshub.

The catamaran washed up onto a downtown street, and was still there when dawn broke on Wednesday.

7:45am - Cook Strait ferry cancellations

Two Bluebridge Cook Strait ferries have been cancelled because of last night's weather, NZME reports.

Those passengers supposed to be travelling on the 8am and 2pm ferries will be delayed or refunded.

All Interislander ferry sailings are going ahead as scheduled.

7:30am - Winter returns to ski fields

7:20am - Mt Taranaki drenched overnight

Mt Taranaki had the most rainfall overnight, MetService says, with 33mm falling in one hour.

Meanwhile Fiordland was blanketed in 20cm snow in an hour.

A maximum wind-gust of 154km/h was recorded at Wellington's Mt Kaukau - and winds of 150km/h are expected there throughout the morning.

The provider says things are easing for the South Island now, as the bout of bad weather moves north.

7:00am - Gale-force winds forecast for Wellington

Wellington is bracing for gale-force winds reaching up to 150km/h this morning.

On Tuesday evening a 96km/h gust was recorded.

6:30am - Rain to hit Auckland morning traffic

MetService says Auckland is expected to be hit by torrential rain at around 7am "just in time for the commute".

Metservice duty forecaster Allister Gorman says it'll be a "short but sharp shock".

6:10am - Roads closed

A number of roads in the upper South Island, as well as the West Coast, are on watch due to falling trees and debris.

State Highway 69 between Reefton and Inangahua was closed by fallen trees on Wednesday morning.

Roads in Tekapo are blanketed in snow.
Roads in Tekapo are blanketed in snow. Photo credit: Newshub.

6:00am - Power restored to South Island

Power has been restored in the upper South Island.

The storm caused power cuts on the West Coast, Nelson, Marlborough and parts of the South Island east coast early on Wednesday morning, say Fire Emergency NZ southern communication's Ian Littlejohn.

"Thankfully there were no reports of injuries."

On the West Coast power poles caught fire after being hit by debris, including one by a flying trampoline, and trees fell across roads.

Snow has settled in Queenstown.
Snow has settled in Queenstown. Photo credit: Newshub.

5:50am - Campers evacuated

Freedom campers at Mapua, near Nelson, had to be helped away from the waterfront.

In the Nelson suburbs of Tahunanui and Monaco firefighters responded to reports of sea surge but were forced to continue on foot when they found Martin Street blocked by a catamaran, Mr Littlejohn said.

Fire and Emergency spokesperson Ian Littlejohn says they've had an influx of calls.

"With severe weather events such as we've been experiencing, it's a timely reminder to tie down and bring in any outdoor furniture, make sure barbeques are secured and gas is turned off and turn trampolines upside-down."

5:30am - Today's forecast

MetService predicts the storm will bring wind gusts of up to 130kmh to the Canterbury high country this morning.

Heavy rain and snow is also forecast for parts of the lower South Island. Overnight there's already been a downpour in Westland and Fiordland.

Parts of Southland and Fiordland, north of Gore and inland Otago above 500 metres, could get up to 15cm of snow.

Areas 300m above sea level can also expect lighter snow.