People should keep an eye on the MetService website to track watches and warnings. Image / Supplied
Heavy rain and wind warnings have been issued for large parts of the South Island and central New Zealand as rough weather approaches.
Some areas in the ranges of the South Island could receive up to 300mm of rain over about 24 hours, said MetService meteorologist Mmathapelo Makgabutlane.
“From tomorrow we’ve got a low in the Tasman Sea that is approaching Aotearoa New Zealand that is expected to bring some rain with it and some strong winds.
“The worst of that is expected from tomorrow afternoon.”
The warnings stretch over parts of Tasman, Westland, Marlborough, Canterbury high country, and Fiordland, as well as over the Cook Strait to Wellington and for the most part last until about mid-morning Friday.
Western parts of the South Island are expected to take the brunt of the weather, with the heavy rain and wind eventually spreading up and towards the east.
Makgabutlane said there was also thunderstorm activity forecasted, which could bring downpours on Thursday night around the South Island’s western areas.
“We’ve got the orange warning out which does indicate there’s quite a lot of rain expected.”
Affected areas could receive up to 100mm of rain over the course of the event, while parts of the ranges could get up to 300mm.
“Looking at the wind, the places that are expected to get the strongest winds at this point would be central New Zealand, Wellington and Marlborough,” she said.
Central South Island areas could expect high winds too, with maximum wind gusts of 120km/h forecast in exposed places.
“Western South Island, heads up for them, they’ve also got some strong northeasterly winds expected.”
Makgabutlane encouraged people to keep an eye on MetService to track warnings and watches.
“I think these areas normally do get quite a lot of rain, so just continue with the measures you would take for heavy rain.”
She also advised people to tie down outdoor furniture or anything that could take flight in strong winds, and look out for any potential travel warnings posted by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.
Parts of the rest of the North Island may experience periods of strong winds as the weather moved up the country.
“If things look like they could be ramping up it might require a warning.
“It is a fast-changing system so we definitely recommend to everybody to keep an eye on the latest [on MetService].”
Watches and warnings
- Strong wind warning (orange) for Marlborough and Wellington, 1-8am Friday
- Heavy rain warning (orange) for Tasman west of Motueka, 9pm Thursday – 7am Friday
- Heavy rain warning (orange) for Westland, 4pm Thursday – 11pm Friday
- Heavy rain warning (orange) for headwaters of the Canterbury lakes and rivers, 4pm Thursday – 11pm Friday
- Strong wind warning (orange) for Canterbury high country, 9pm Thursday – 5am Friday
- Heavy rain warning (orange) for Fiordland north of George Sound, 4pm Thursday – 10am Friday
- Strong wind watch for Wairarapa south of Masterton, 1-8am Friday
- Heavy rain watch for Buller, 7pm Thursday – 7am Friday
- Heavy rain watch for Richmond and Bryant Ranges, 10pm Thursday – 7am Friday
- Strong wind watch for Buller and Westland, 9pm Thursday – 3am Friday
- Strong wind watch for Banks Peninsula, 1-7am Friday
- Heavy rain watch for headwaters of the Otago lakes and rivers, 4pm Thursday – 10am Friday