Weather: 'Mid-summer-winter storm' to bring wind surges, 'dangerous beach conditions', 'unbelievable' snow

Mother Nature is hitting pause on summer for the coming days, with wind surges, heavy rain, "dangerous beach conditions", and "unbelievable mid-summer snow" on the horizon.

WeatherWatch reports a "mid-summer-winter storm" will skirt the southern coast of New Zealand over the next two days. The lower North and South Island will feel the brunt of the storm "with severe, possibly damage gales developing and increasing" from Tuesday.

"Wellington will have sustained gales later today [Tuesday] with gusts to 120km/h in the city and gusts over 150km/h possible on the ranges," WeatherWatch says.

"Through the Southern Alps similar winds are expected with a secondary surge of damaging gales closest to the low's centre, which will be near Fiordland today and is tracking eastwards past Stewart Island."

Another wind surge is expected on Wednesday and may also hit areas as north as Auckland and the Coromandel Peninsula. WeatherWatch says "dangerous beach conditions" with waves up to 10 metres can be expected up New Zealand's western coast. 

Over the next two days, the West Coast will have the highest rainfall totals with more than 200mm possible in some places. WeatherWatch also says "higher up, this will fall as snow with unbelievable mid-summer snow totals of potentially over 1 metre on some of the mountain tops".

Speaking to The AM Show on Tuesday morning, meteorologist Ben Noll said there is a lot of active weather expected for the South Island in particular. 

"We have got Mother Nature pressing pause on summer for about three days. We have a lot of active weather in the South Island today. The West Coast, we have heavy rain. 

"Some of that spills into Otago as well. There are places in central Otago, Clyde, for instance, Ranfurly, they have seen a third of their annual rainfall already this January.

"Further up the country, we have thunderstorm activity. Winds in Wellington as well as we go toward the late afternoon, rush hour timeframe… it is pretty hot and dry still in the eastern part of the North Island. Auckland, as well, we could use the rain."

In an update on Tuesday morning, MetService said there had been 60mm of rain in three hours in the Milford Sound while winds have gusted past 100km/h in some southern areas.