Inland parts of northern Otago and Canterbury could have up to 40cm of snowfall on Thursday night and Friday.
MetService is forecasting accumulations of around 10cm above 200m, and 20-40cm for areas above 400m.
MetService Meteorologist Clare O’Connor said it is not just alpine areas that will be affected, with snow to low levels in Otago and on parts of the Canterbury Plains.
“This is a significant event, and particularly impactful for the rural community given the time of the year.”
Temperatures in eastern areas will also plummet.
Fairlie in South Canterbury hit 25degC on Wednesday but is likely to only reach 10degC on Friday.
Similarly, Alexandra, which basked in 24degC on Wednesday, may only hit 11degC on Friday and just 2degC overnight into Saturday.
“These colder temperatures will cause the snow to stick around, and travel disruptions are expected in the alpine passes not only during the event but for the days following also,” O’Connor said.