Time to feel the cold: Heavy snow threatens to replace warm autumn afternoons

Savour the warm afternoons while they're here, heavy snow could be blasting its way towards New Zealand soon.

The warmer than average autumn afternoons will continue for most parts this week as mild northerly breezes blow across the country, according to WeatherWatch.

But the West Coast should prepare itself to be left out of the sun on Wednesday and Thursday, with strong rain expected to pummel the region. Rain will blast in for the rest of the country on Sunday in time for Mothers' Day.

There could also be some heavy snow on the horizon due to cold air brewing south of New Zealand which may impact Southland and Otago on Sunday and Monday.

"While we do have warmer than average days in New Zealand at the moment the cold is still brewing south of our nation - so it only takes a quick southerly change to feel the cold again," said Weather Watch.

Queenstown's high on Monday is expected to be seven degrees, which would be lower than the city's coldest overnight point on Wednesday.

Chilly gusts may mean temperatures drop significantly in other parts of the country for a brief period in the coming weeks.