Weather warning: Severe gale and heavy rain warnings as front move across the country

Severe gale and heavy rain warnings are in place for many parts of New Zealand, with a “high risk” of thunderstorms in some areas.

MetService issued a weather watch on Sunday, warning an active front, preceded by a strong and moist northerly flow, is expected to move across New Zealand from the west on Sunday and Monday morning.

This will be followed by an unsettled west to northwest flow.

“This front is expected to deliver a period heavy rain and severe gale northerlies to many parts of New Zealand, and warnings and watches remain in force,” it said.

Heavy rain warnings are in place for Bay of Plenty and Gisborne, where heavy rain may cause streams and rivers to rise rapidly.

Surface flooding and slips are also possible and driving conditions may be hazardous.

Heavy rain may cause streams and rivers to rise rapidly. Surface flooding and slips are also possible and driving conditions may be hazardous.

Strong wind and heavy rain watches are in place for parts of the Canterbury High Country until tomorrow.

Winds reaching gusts of up to 72km/h at Aoraki Mount Cook aerodrome has been reported on Sunday morning, MetService forecaster Dan Corrigan said.

Heavy rain and thunderstorms are possible at the headwaters of the Canterbury lakes and rivers near to and south of Arthur’s Pass.

“Expect 130 to 180mm of rain to accumulate about the main divide, and 80 to 120mm within 15km east of the divide,” Corrigan said.

“Peak rates of 15 to 25mm/h near the divide.”

Corrigan said the wind coming over the Southern Alps would result in warmer than average temperatures for much of the Canterbury region over the next day.

People are advised to keep up to date with the latest forecasts in case any changes are made, or further areas are added.

The weather watch warning extends to Monday morning.

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