Some South Island regions should prepare for heavy snowfalls today, with MetService warning of a "mean, long-lived" southerly hitting the country.
There is a heavy snow warning for inland parts of Southland, Otago and South Canterbury for Wednesday and Thursday.
Between 5-10cm of snow is expected to fall below 200m, with up to 30cm falling above 400m.
Dunedin and Christchurch may be blanketed in snow on Thursday night, as another cold front moves across the South Island.
State Highway 94 from Te Anau to Milford Sound closed at 5pm today due to snow.
Metservice meteorologist Georgina Griffiths told Checkpoint temperatures were going to drop even further on Thursday.
"We're in for a very cold week, and even that cold lingers into the week following. The first half of August is extremely cold for the South Island - welcome to winter."
She said the prolonged south-easterly winds would be a "shock to the system" and could lead to significant disruption to transport, roading and power.
"It's just a mean, long-lived southerly coming off the ice for us."