Summer snow delight for South Island as cold front brings 'unusual' December dump

An unusual summer dump of snow has dropped on parts of the South Island today, but does it mean a white Christmas could be on its way?

Early December snowfall at Oturehua, Central Otago. Source: Supplied

MetService meteorologist Angus Hines says there were decent amounts of snow down to around 200m in Southland and parts of Otago, as well as a "good dumping" higher up on the mountains.

Most of the snow fell overnight or this morning.

"It's pretty low snow for December, really. It's not often you get snow this low at this time of year," Hines told 1 NEWS. 

"It is unusual... It's certainly not something we're going to see every year."

Early December snowfall at Five Rivers, Southland. Source: Supplied

The cold front bringing the snow has already moved north and weakened, so it's unlikely there'll be snow to the same levels through the week, Hines says.

As for whether the South Island could see a white Christmas?

"I mean, I wouldn't say no chance," Hines says. 

Early December snowfall at Oturehua, Central Otago. Source: Supplied

"It's a little too far out for me to talk in extremes like that, but I'd say, yeah, pretty unlikely."

In the immediate future, there's risks of strong winds in central parts of the country as the weakening front continues to sweep north.