Cantabrians may see some snow as a cold weather front crosses much of the country this week.
Metservice is forecasting snow down to 400 metres across much of Canterbury on Thursday, meaning the tops of Christchurch’s Port Hills may get a dusting.
A snow sighting may be deemed a silver lining to the cold temperatures and rain that have battered the city and surrounding areas over the past week.
On Monday, it was reported that Christchurch had not seen the sun since a 12-minute appearance the previous Monday.
* Cantabrians urged not to light non-essential fires until the end of alert level 3
* South Island endures mixed start to winter as cold snap continues to bite
* Get ready for sleet on your doorstep, snow to sea level in Canterbury
The sun made a comeback on Tuesday, with 2.5 hours of sunshine recorded, according to MetService. However, the bad weather looks set to return for the rest of the week.
Christchurch could expect showers with snow flurries about the tops of Banks Peninsula on Wednesday, Metservice meteorologist Kyle Lee said.
About 40 millimetres of rain fell in Canterbury overnight on Tuesday, and strong cold southwesterlies and gales were expected in exposed places about the peninsula on Wednesday.
Snow as low as 400m and showers would spread inland across much of Canterbury on Thursday morning, but should ease during the day, Lee said.
Roundhill ski area director Charlie Rieder said they received 35 centimetres of fresh snow over the weekend, which was a “great start” to the season.
Temperatures are expected to reach a high of 7 degrees Celsius on Wednesday and 8C on Thursday, with a low of -1C overnight.
A road snowfall warning is in place for the Lewis Pass until 9am Thursday, with f4cm to 8cm of snow forecast above 800m and lesser amounts to 500m.
The Canterbury region was pummelled by 23.6mm of rain on Sunday night and Monday morning, contributing to well over half of its total 34.8mm of rain for the previous seven days. Another 7.2mm of rain fell in the 24 hours from noon on Monday.