Heavy rain for parts of South

Enjoy the sunshine while it lasts is the message as Tropical Cyclone Gita edges closer to New Zealand, bringing gusts of up to 200kmh and potential flooding.

Several fronts moving up the country were causing heavy rain and thunderstorms in parts of the South Island on Saturday morning.

A severe thunderstorm watch has been issued for Buller, Westland and Canterbury High Country.

MetService warned thunderstorms could cause frequent lightning and downpours of between 25mm and 40mm an hour, especially about the mountains, until 2pm today.

Rainfall of this intensity could cause surface flooding and flash flooding - especially in low-lying areas such as streams, rivers or narrow valley - slips and make driving conditions hazardous.

Severe weather warnings for heavy rain were in also in place for Westland, between Fox Glacier and Haast, until 11am and north of Fox Glacier until 2pm today.

According to MetService, up to 150mm of rain was expected to accumulate north of Fox Glacier, with peak rates of between 20 and 35mm per hour this morning.

Up to 100mm of rain was set to accumulate by 11am between Fox Glacier and Haast.

There was also a heavy rain watch for Buller and the headwaters of Canterbury Rivers and Lakes through to this afternoon.

Small patches of rain could spread over to Invercargill and Dunedin, but most would fall in Fiordland and on the Main Divide.

The wet weather was set to ease in the South Island tomorrow.


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