29 Apr 2012

High winds and heavy rain expected

3:18 pm on 29 April 2012

High winds and heavy rain are expected to hit parts of New Zealand on Sunday, ahead of a cold front that could bring snow to Southland.

MetService has issued a severe weather warning for heavy rain about Fiordland, Westland and the Southern Alps and severe gale northwesterlies in Canterbury, Marlborough, Wellington and southern Wairarapa.

A severe weather watch is also in place for Wellington, Wairarapa, Hawke's Bay, Nelson, Buller, Otago and Southland.

MetService says the main areas of concern are Otago and Southland where strong northeasterlies will switch to southerlies overnight.

Temperatures in some parts of Southland could plunge from 19 degrees to five degrees overnight.

Federated Farmers' adverse events spokesperson, Southland farmer David Rose, says predictions of snow to 200 metres in parts of Southland overnight is of some concern but at this time of year the stock are not vulnerable.

He says some rain will be a welcome relief to parts of Southland that have experienced record low rainfall in April.