Front bringing rain, severe winds, snow

A front bringing severe winds followed by the possibility of heavy snow above 400m is expected to bring the South’s run of good weather to an end over the weekend.

The MetService has weather watches and warnings in place for the weekend as a front, preceded by strong northerlies, is expected to sweep across the country today.

The MetService said the heaviest rain was expected in Fiordland north of Doubtful Sound, and Westland south of Otira, where heavy rain warnings were in place between 9pm last night to 9pm today.

Strong wind warnings were also in force for Fiordland and the Canterbury high country for parts of today and tomorrow.

The front was also expected to bring strong winds to Otago and Southland, where a severe wind watch was in place from 1pm today to 2am tomorrow.

The winds are expected to change westerly this evening, and may also become severe in exposed places, including Clutha which has a severe wind warning. Winds should then ease by dawn on Sunday.

A heavy rain watch was also in place for the Otago and Canterbury headwaters south of Arthurs Pass from 11am to 5pm today and accumulations could approach warning levels within 15km east of the main divide.

The northerly front was expected to be followed by a westerly change  tomorrow and Monday, which brings with it a low chance of heavy rain and heavy snow above 400m in the southern part of the South Island.

Hollyford Rd junction to Chasm in Milford has been closed today due to high avalanche hazard and was expected to remain closed for the rest of the day.

Snow is expected to gather on some alpine roads in the South including the Lindis Pass and Crown Range Rd.

Snow was expected to lower on both roads to about 400m on Sunday afternoon. 

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