Wellingtonians to weather coldest night of the year

Wellingtonians will be bracing themselves for the coldest night of the year tonight with heavy snow forecast to cover State Highway 2 Remutaka Hill Road.

MetService has forecast the temperature to drop below four degrees in the capital overnight - a figure not seen since October last year, Stuff reports.

The meteorological service says up to 1cm of snow may accumulate above the summit of the road between midnight and 8am tomorrow morning.

Cold southerly gales are also forecast to hit eastern coastal areas tonight beforely slowly easing tomorrow. 

A strong wind warning is in place, as the gales expected to become more severe at times in exposed parts of Marlborough from Cape Campbell northwards and the capital until tomorrow evening. 

Strong winds, combined with tomorrow's significant large swells, may cause some coastal inundation, MetService warns.

The weather is expected to improve in the central North Island on Wednesday.