Coldest winter in years on its way - MetService

Get ready for one of the coldest winters in years, MetService says. 

Meteorologist Georgina Griffiths told Newshub we're entering a colder than normal winter with much of June looking to be the same. 

"It's been a little while since we've had a cool or anywhere average winter... the last time we had one was in 2015," Ms Griffiths said. 

Homes in Queenstown were blanketed in snow overnight.
Homes in Queenstown were blanketed in snow overnight. Photo credit: Jeff Aldridge

The current cold snap should continue through to the first week of June, which is set to be colder than the average first week of winter, she said. 

Temperatures across the country have been abnormally cold for late May.
Temperatures across the country have been abnormally cold for late May. Photo credit: Jeff Aldridge

"The bottom line for June is great news for ski fields, not so good for power bills."

"That abnormal heat we had to start the year is well and truly gone." 

The coldest areas on Thursday morning were around Otago and south Canterbury - Ranfurly dropped to -3.1degC and Pukaki -3degC. 

A cold front from the South Island brought snow and ice to the central North Island causing the closure of the Desert Road on State Highway 1 between Waiouru and Rangipo.

The deep south has seen ice cold temperatures with snow falling to 300 metres in Otago, Fiordland and Southland. 

More heavy snow is due on Thursday with 20 to 40 centimetres expected above 400 metres across the lower South Island. 

The North Island is not getting off light either with a low of -0.7degC recorded in Upper Hutt while Desert Rd dropped to -0.5degC. 

Newshub.