Weather: Farmers prepare for spring storm

Farmers in many parts of the country are braced for a spring storm, which is expected to bring significant snowfall.

A storm that battered the east coast of the North Island earlier this month saw the loss of an estimated 100,000 spring lambs. The region had significant rainfall and gale winds over a week from the start of September.

The MetService is forecasting snow to low levels over the South Island this week. 

"A low will direct a cold, southeasterly flow over the South Island, bringing significant snowfall to high country areas," MetService meteorologist Peter Little says.

A severe weather watch has also been issued for the possibility of heavy snow in parts of Otago and Canterbury on Monday and Tuesday. In addition, heavy rain is possible about eastern Otago.

"As this wintry blast spreads northwards on Tuesday, snow will fall across higher parts of the North Island," Mr Little says.

Mid-Canterbury Federated Farmers president Michael Salvesen says the spring storm is part and parcel of farming life.

"We had a mild August, so the bad weather is not unexpected."

Mr Salvesen says that unlike the Hawke's Bay storm that hit lambs hard because the amount of rain, the snow shouldn't have too much of an effect.

"Sleet and rain is very difficult for stock, whereas snow is usually not as bad."