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Severe Weather Warning

SEVERE WEATHER WARNING.

ISSUED BY MetService AT 9:10 am 17-Aug-2017

Heavy rain for west of the South Island, Mt Taranaki and Tararua Range. Gales for parts of Canterbury, Marlborough and Wellington.

A front is expected to cross central New Zealand today, preceded by north to northwesterly gales and followed by a trough. Heavy rain has already fallen in the west of the South Island, and should continue through this afternoon and evening. A period of heavy rain is also expected about Mt Taranaki and the Tararua Range. The heaviest falls are expected in Westland, where a further 80 to 110mm could accumulate on the ranges until this evening. Rainfall of this intensity may cause rivers and streams to rise rapidly, as well as slips and surface flooding.

The strongest winds are likely in the Canterbury High Country, Marlborough and Wellington, where severe gale north to northwest winds with gusts of 120 to 130 km/h are forecast through to early this afternoon. Winds of this strength may make driving hazardous, cause damage to trees, powerlines and unsecure structures.

Note, heavy rain has eased about the headwaters of the Otago and Canterbury lakes and rivers, and the Warning there is now lifted.

HEAVY RAIN WARNING

AREA/S AFFECTED

Fiordland north of Doubtful Sound

FORECAST

Heavy rain has fallen in the area, and should continue through to tonight, but lesser intensities from this afternoon. In the 15 hours from 9am this morning to midnight tonight (Thursday), a further 60 to 90mm of rain could accumulate on top of what has already fallen, with thunderstorms. Peak rainfall rates of 10 to 20mm per hour. Note, further heavy rain is possible on Friday.

FREEZING LEVEL: About 1600 metres.

AREA/S AFFECTED

Westland

FORECAST

Rain with heavy falls should continue through to this evening. In the 11 hours from 9am to 8pm today (Thursday), expect a further 80 to 110mm to accumulate about the ranges and 40 to 70mm near the coast, with thunderstorms. Peak rainfall rates of 10 to 20mm mainly this morning and afternoon. Note, further heavy rain is possible on Friday.

FREEZING LEVEL: 1800 metres.

AREA/S AFFECTED

Ranges of Buller and northwest Nelson

FORECAST

Heavy rain should ease towards midday today. In the 2 hours from 9m to 11am Thursday, expect a further 15 to 25mm of rain to accumulate on top of what has already fallen, with possible thunderstorms. Peak rainfall rates 10 to 20mm per hour.

FREEZING LEVEL: 2000 metres.

AREA/S AFFECTED

Tararua Range

FORECAST

A burst of heavy rain is expected in the 7 hours from 9am to 4pm today (Thursday), when 50 to 70mm of rain could accumulate. Peak intensities 10 to 15mm per hour.

AREA/S AFFECTED

Mt Taranaki

FORECAST

A burst of heavy rain is expected in the 9 hours from 9am to 6pm today (Thursday), when 60 to 90mm could accumulate. Peak intensities 10 to 15mm per hour.

STRONG WIND WARNING

AREA/S AFFECTED

Canterbury High Country

FORECAST

Expect northwest winds severe gale gusting 120 km/h in exposed places through to around midday today.

AREA/S AFFECTED

Marlborough

FORECAST

Expect north to northwest winds severe gale gusting 120 km/h in exposed places through to early this afternoon.

AREA/S AFFECTED

Wellington

FORECAST

Expect severe gale northerlies gusting 130 km/h in exposed places, including the Rimutaka Hill Road, through to early this afternoon.

WARNINGS NO LONGER IN FORCE

HEAVY RAIN WARNINGS HAVE BEEN LIFTED FOR: The headwaters of the Otago lakes and rivers.

HEAVY RAIN WARNINGS HAVE BEEN LIFTED FOR: The headwaters of the Canterbury lakes and rivers, from about Arthurs Pass National Park southwards.

NEXT SEVERE WEATHER WARNING WILL BE ISSUED AT OR BEFORE 9:00 pm Thursday 17-Aug-2017