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Metservice is warning of snowfalls of 40cm-50cm for inland parts of Hawke's Bay and snow drifts up to 1m, and up to 200mm of rain to fall along the coast by Sunday. Photo: MetService.

MetService is warning of heavy snowfalls for inland parts of Hawke's Bay on Friday and Saturday and also heavy rain along the coast, from tonight through to Sunday.

The weather forecaster says a complex low pressure system over the country is moving slowly northeastwards, and the low centre is expected to move to near about East Cape tonight, bringing rain to many parts of the North Island and eastern South Island, with snow to low levels in eastern parts of the South Island and east of the North Island.

It says the heaviest snow is likely about inland Hawkes Bay and eastern Taihape, where 40 to 50cm of snow could accumulate above 400 metres, with 1 metre or more possible in snow drifts, from tonight to early Sunday morning.

Snow should continue in the Canterbury Plains near the foothills, and Kaikoura Coast and hills, where 15 to 25cm of snow could accumulate above 400 metres during today and Saturday.

Heavy rain is expected about coastal Hawke's Bay from tonight to early Sunday, where 150 to 200mm of rain could accumulate from this evening to early Sunday morning Heavy snow can cause major distruption to transport as well as significant stress to livestock, and could damage powerlines.

Blizzard conditions are also likely in exposed areas of the North Island. Heavy rain has the potential to cause rivers and streams to rise rapidly, and may produce slips and surface flooding.

MetService has also issued a road snowfall warning for Napier-Taupo Rd.

It says 30 to 60cm of snow may fall above 400 metres from this evening until Sunday morning, with lesser amounts down to 200 metres.

Timber by EMSIEN-3 LTD