Blasts of heavy rain, gales to create 'enormous' 10 metre plus waves

As Kiwis headed away on holiday over the long weekend, many had their plans disrupted by heavy snow, hail and rain torrents - and it doesn't look like the ugly weather is letting up.

Metservice is forecasting Wednesday will be another chilly and wet day, with a massive low-pressure system blasting heavy rain, strong gusterly winds and thunderstorms across the North Island.

Taranaki and the eastern Bay of Plenty are the most likely to be battered with heavy rain, while snow is also possible on the Central Plateau on late Wednesday and early Thursday.

Severe gales are possible north of Waikato, while WeatherWatch forecasts Wednesday thunderstorms for Northland and possibly Auckland.

Those in the south will mostly see a brief reprieve from severe weather, but Fiordland could be hit on Wednesday by some heavy rain. Snow is likely in the ranges behind Kaikoura and Marlborough.

"On Wednesday...moisture-laden sub-tropical air will move into this colder South Island airflow - the result will make for heavy snow in the ranges, mainly around Kaikoura and the ranges of the North Island from Central Plateau southwards," says WeatherWatch forecaster Philip Duncan.

There will also be another big southerly blast at the end of the week, kicking off on Thursday. It will produce massive 10 metre plus wave on the west coast.

WeatherWatch says people should avoid fishing in the west - whether out on the water or on rocks - due to the "enormous seas" on Thursday, Friday and Saturday which could be dangerous.

It follows a crazy weekend of wet weather for Kiwis across the country. Canterbury saw sheets of snow turn their gardens into winter wonderlands on Saturday, while there was a tornado spotted near Whangaehu Coast.

Those in west Auckland were slammed with large hailstones after an "intense burst of thunderstorms came off the Tasman Sea" on Friday evening.