Heavy rain, snow on way

Heavy rain is on the way for much of the country today, while the Canterbury high country is set to get a big dump of snow.

MetService says a deep low just west of the South Island is expected to drift eastwards over the island today, bringing strong to gale northerlies and periods of heavy rain to northern Westland and Buller, and cold southeasterly rain to Canterbury.

The heaviest falls are expected in the ranges of Westland and Buller north of Ross, where 200mm of rain is forecast through to early Wednesday morning, while coastal areas may receive 100mm of rain during this time.

The rain about the Canterbury high country may fall as snow this morning, with some heavy snowfalls forecast later in the day. From 9am to 1pm, 5-10cm is expected above 700m, with lesser amounts down to 400m.

Further snow is likely above 700m through to tonight, but snow falls will ease in intensity and snow levels should gradually lift.

MetService says the snow has the potential to disrupt transport in the area and cause significant stress to livestock, especially newborn lambs.

On Arthur's Pass snow is affecting the road above 700m, with 5-10cm possibly accumulating through to early afternoon. NZTA has vehicle restrictions in place, with the road closed to towing vehicles and chains essential.

Porters Pass is forecast to receive about 5-10cm of snowfall above 700m through to early this afternoon, while about 1-2cm is expected on higher parts of Lindis Pass this morning.

Meanwhile, a front associated to the low is likely to bring heavy rain to the Bay of Plenty later today and tomorrow morning, with 90mm of rain expected in the eastern ranges.

Heavy showers are also expected today in the Richmond and Bryant Ranges and Mt Taranaki, and tomorrow about the Tararua Ranges.

As the front passes over the North Island today, MetService says it will be preceded by a period of strong northerlies, with severe gale gusts possible about southern Taranaki, inland Wanganui and Taihape through to this afternoon.

 

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