Chunks of energy will be sliding across the country tonight and Sunday. These weather features will be setting the stage for strong winds, showers and possible thunderstorms across the western South Island and lower North Island.
Government forecaster MetService has posted warnings for heavy rain for Fiordland, Westland and the Canterbury headwaters late tonight and Sunday. Severe gale warnings are up for Fiordland, inland Otago, Canterbury, the Marlborough Sounds, Wellington and Wairarapa.
It appears the greatest threat for heavy rain will be late tonight and early tomorrow for the western sections of the South Island. That threat would then shift to the north-western South Island and lower North Island for tomorrow afternoon and tomorrow evening.
MetService believes some of the heaviest rain may fall on the ranges of Westland south to Otira where up to 250mm is possible between tonight and tomorrow night. It does appear at this time, however, that the heavy rain may end sooner than that about Westland. The heaviest rain may move out by sunset tomorrow.
Freezing levels are expected to fall to around 1600 metres tomorrow.
As far as the winds go, tonight through early tomorrow afternoon severe gales are possible for inland Canterbury and inland where 120 km/h gusts are expected in exposed places in both regions…and 140 km/h are possible in the High County and foothills of inland Canterbury.
Severe gales are also a threat Sunday morning for the Marlborough Sounds, Wellington and Wairarapa south of Masterton with 120km/h gusts expected in exposed places and especially about the hill tops.
By WeatherWatch Analyst Howard Joseph