Winds of up to 140kmh to batter South

The South is set to take another battering tomorrow, with heavy rain and gusts of up to 140kmh expected.

A MetService spokesman said an active front was expected to move on to the lower South Island tomorrow, preceded by rain and very strong north-to-northwest winds.

The front would then move over the remainder of the South Island during Sunday, weakening as it went.

Otago Civil Defence and Emergency Management said on social media that people across the region should be prepared for possible power cuts and fallen trees.

A heavy rain warning are in place for the headwaters of Otago lakes and rivers, where 70mm to 100mm is expected to accumulate about the divide and 50 to 80mm within 15km away from the divide.

Heavy rain warnings were also in place for Fiordland, the headwaters of Canterbury lakes and rivers from Rakaia River southwards and large parts of the West Coast.

Strong wind warnings were also in place for Southern Lakes, between 10am and 8pm, and Fiordland, Southland and Clutha, from 7am to 6pm.

Gusts of up to 120kmh were expected in exposed places in areas covered by the warning, with 140kmh gusts possible in Fiordland.

Strong wind warnings were also in place in the Canterbury high country.

The worst of the weather was expected to miss Dunedin, but a strong wind watch was in place for North Otago, Central Otago and Dunedin from 10am to 8pm and northwest winds could approach severe gale in exposed places.

A strong wind watch was also in place for the Canterbury plains.

On Monday, a large ridge of high pressure would establish itself over New Zealand and would remain slow moving on Tuesday, bringing settled weather, he said.

john.lewis@odt.co.nz

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