Wintry wind blasts the country causing hail, snow

The polar blast which slammed the country causing snow, rain and strong winds is beginning to ease.

Auckland's strong wind watch has lifted, although the city should still expect showers throughout Monday, easing towards the evening.

"There are frequent showers and some of those are quite heavy," said Metservice meteorologist Peter Little.

Auckland's Harbour Bridge was blasted by 92 kilometre winds early on Monday morning, while the airport was suffered gusts of 80 kilometres.

Dunedin residents woke on Monday morning to flurries of snow blanketing the streets, and further north the desert road has closed due to heavy snow and ice.


The South Island shivered in sub-zero temperatures, with Mount Cook the coldest at -8 Celsius according to Metservice. 

The North Island is freezing too. Near Rotorua, temperatures dropped to 3 degrees and Mamaku residents woke to thick snow falling. 

This is forecast to lift throughout Monday and the rest of the week.

"While today is colder than average for many places (and tonight will be even colder) the week ahead will see rough weather easing and temperatures slowly lifting," said

Wellington and Christchurch are both "beautifully fine" according to Little, although like the rest of the country, "bitterly cold."