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MetService is warning Otago and Southland residents to batten down the hatches for possible severe gales this evening.
Northwesterlies are expected to rise to gale in southern and eastern parts of the South Island until early Sunday morning.
There is a possibility the gales may become severe in exposed parts of Fiordland, Southland and Otago for a time, a spokesman said.
"People in these areas are advised to keep up to date with the latest forecasts in case parts of this watch are upgraded to a full warning, or new areas are added."
The Remarkables skifield near Queenstown which opened early this week is in for gales and snowfall today.
The South Island is in for a mix of cloudy areas and showers today, with rain tomorrow in Westland and Canterbury.
A ridge of high pressure is delivering the sunshine to the upper half of the North Island, along with frosts for inland areas.
- additional reporting NZME.