Strong winds have blown a car off the road in Central Otago
this evening, and police are warning motorists to take care.
No-one was injured in the accident, which happened between
Cromwell and Luggate.
Gale-force winds and heavy rain are expected to lash the
South Island tonight and parts of the lower North Island as
the MetService issues severe weather warnings for conditions
that could swell waterways and cause flooding.
High winds could also bring down trees and power lines in
exposed areas of the Canterbury high country, Marlborough
Sounds and Wellington, where gusts are forecast to hit
The MetService also warns of potential damage to insecure
structures, and of hazardous driving conditions.
The bad weather is expected to extend into the central North
Meanwhile, northern parts of New Zealand remain bathed in
sunshine and are basking in warm temperatures which are
expected to remain until the weekend.
The picture isn't so rosy down south as a front approaching
from the Tasman Sea is forecast to bring heavy rain and
northwest gales to the west of the South Island and alps
As much as 250-300mm of rain could fall in the higher parts
of the alps, while 180-220mm could fall over Westland and
Fiordland before the weekend.
The MetService says water levels could rapidly rise in Otago
and Canterbury lakes and rivers, causing surface flooding and
Northwest gusts could hit 120kmh in parts of Southland, Otago
and Canterbury, particularly in inland areas.
The winds move over the Cook Strait to Marlborough and
Wellington tonight and to Wairarapa tomorrow, where they are
forecast to last until evening.
Northern and eastern parts of the North Island will largely
escape the bad weather. Temperatures in Auckland, Napier,
Gisborne and Tauranga hit the mid to late 20s and could rise
further on Saturday.