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The MetService has released an official weather warning for severe gale force winds gusting to 130kmh, particularly around coastal Southland, Clutha and Dunedin from 8pm today until 9am tomorrow.
A spokesman said the strong wind gusts could damage trees, powerlines and unsecured structures, and driving might be hazardous for motorcycles and high-sided vehicles.
Fiordland residents are also warned that up to 180mm of rain may fall in the area between 6am and 8pm today.
Up to 30mm per hour may fall and thunderstorms are possible.
Between 100mm and 160mm of rain might also fall in the headwaters of the Otago lakes and rivers.