Rain warnings for West Coast, central NZ

A series of fronts embedded within a moist northwest flow are expected to bring rain to some parts of the country over the weekend.

Warnings and watches for heavy rain are in place for western parts of the South Island and central New Zealand.

MetService has issued a heavy rain warning (orange) from 8pm Saturday until 4pm Sunday for the ranges of Tasman northwest of Motueka, Buller and Westland from Otira northwards.

The forecast was for 100mm-140mm of rain, with peak rates of 15mm-25mm/h predicted on Sunday morning.

MetService warned that heavy rain may cause streams and rivers to rise rapidly. Surface flooding and slips were also possible and driving conditions may be hazardous.

Heavy rain was also expected for the ranges of Westland south of Otira until 11am Sunday, with 150mm-180mm about and north of the glaciers, and 100mm-130mm elsewhere, peaking at 15mm/h. Thunderstorms are possible.

Heavy rain watches are in place for Taranaki Maunga (until 9pm Sunday), the Tararua Ranges (11pm Sunday) and the Bryant and Richmond ranges, and the Rai Valley (4pm Sunday).