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A disturbed westerly flow headed toward New Zealand is expected to bring severe gales to the south this weekend.
The prediction follows a forecast for snow and cooler temperatures in the South in coming days.
From Friday through to Monday, a series of fast-moving fronts is forecast to cross the country, bringing periods of heavy rain to the west, and strong west-to-northwest winds in the south and east of the country.
A MetService spokesman said there was "moderate confidence'' rainfall accumulations would reach warning criteria over Fiordland and the Southern Alps on Saturday through to Monday.
Over the same time frame, there was also a "moderate'' risk of severe gales about exposed inland parts of Southland and Otago, he said.