19 Jan 2019

Heavy rain and strong wind warnings for the South Island

7:28 am on 19 January 2019

Heavy rain and strong wind warnings have been issued for parts of the lower South Island as a front sweeps the south then North Island this weekend.

Car driving in heavy rain. Street flooding.

Photo: mrtwister/123RF

MetService issued a report warning that a front bringing heavy rain was expected to move up the South Island today, then travel up the North Island tomorrow.

Strong winds are forecast ahead of the front and behind it, which could be fierce enough to damage trees and power lines, and make driving hazardous in some places, especially for motorbikes and high-sided vehicles.

The strongest winds are expected to affect the Canterbury High Country ahead of the front, and coastal Southland and southern parts of Otago behind the front. A strong wind warning is in force for these areas.

Rain would be heaviest in Fiordland from 6am Saturday, Coastal Otago from 8am Saturday, and Westland south of Otira from 10am Saturday. Thunderstorms, rapidly rising streams and rivers, and surface flooding and slips are possible.

MetService advised people in these areas to stay up-to-date on conditions and forecasts as the weekend progresses.

Niwa earlier predicted warm winds from heat wave temperatures in Australia could sweep over the Tasman to some eastern parts of New Zealand, today.]

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