Hot and muggy weather which has seen much of the country swelter has been replaced with rain and unseasonable snow this week — but MetService warns the respite is a brief one.

The Remarkables, Crown Range, Mount Cook and the Fiordland Ranges last night received a light dusting of snow, as temperatures dipped down south.

Tekapo recorded 0C, while Crown Range saw 1C overnight. Alexandra, Pūkaki, Aoraki/Mount Cook and Cromwell all dropped to 2C, while Queenstown saw just 3C.

While it’s brought sweet relief to many, the golden summer is set to return anew in time for the weekend.

An approaching ridge of high pressure has seen the skies return to mainly fine today, MetService meteorologist Dom Barry says.

It’s expected to spread over the country tomorrow, bringing a period of settled weather for most as we head into the weekend.

Showers have been forecast for the eastern coasts, however, and cloud will remain for Gisborne.

The next rain system will be confined to Fiordland tomorrow evening.

“With this, temperatures are once again set to rise into the mid-to late twenties for most.”

But a frontal system will begin to “erode the ridge” and move up towards Westland on Friday, Barry said.

“It brings rain with possibly heavy falls to those regions, as well as a glimpse of what might be in store for the rest of the country in the weekend.”