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Heavy rain warnings have been issued for parts of the South, including the headwaters of the Otago lakes, as a former tropical cyclone bears down.
MetService said former Tropical Cyclone Uesi was forecast to approach the South Island from the Tasman Sea overnight on Saturday and lie just to the west of Fiordland on Sunday.
It was expected to move southwest on Monday and weaken but would bring periods of heavy rain to the west and south of the South Island during Sunday and early Monday.
Heavy rain warnings were in place for Fiordland, Westland, Buller and the headwaters of the Canterbury and Otago lakes and rivers. A heavy rain watch was in place for western Nelson, while a watch for severe gales was in place for Westland, Fiordland, and the Canterbury High Country.
The forecaster said the warning, upgraded from a watch, for the Otago headwaters was valid from 2am to 9pm tomorrow. Up to 280mm of rain could fall about the Divide, with 80 to 120mm within 10km east of the Divide.
Weatherwatch says the weather system could bring waves from six to nine metres high on the West Coast and is advising people to stay out of the water and away from river mouths.