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Heavy rain, severe gale northwesterlies, and snow are sweeping through parts of central and southern New Zealand, with more warnings expected in the coming days.
MetService has a strong wind watch in place for Canterbury, which is being battered by north-westerly winds causing precarious conditions for high-sided vehicles and motorbikes in exposed places.
State Highway 1 near Waipara in North Canterbury was closed earlier in the day after a large truck blew over, blocking all four lanes.
The single-vehicle crash happened in Omihi Rd, near Mt Cass Rd, shortly after 10.40am, Star News reported.
Waka Kotahi/ NZ Transport Agency said the truck had been on its side just south of the turnoff to State Highway 7 in the Lewis Pass and the road was cleared about 11.45am.
Police said no injuries had been reported.
Power out for thousands
In North Canterbury, Mainpower said its fault team was working to identify the cause of an outage that had cut power to 2500 households.
Elsewhere, wind damage had cut power to more than 200 households near Motunau Beach Rd and a fault with an electricity line was affecting more than 600 houses in Hanmer.
The Motunau Beach Rd power cut should be fixed by late afternoon, Mainpower said.
Meanwhile, an active front over the Tasman Sea will move northwards over southern and central New Zealand on Thursday.
MetService said this front would be preceded by a strong and moist northwesterly flow, and followed by strong and cold west to southwesterlies.
Heavy rain warnings are in place for Buller, Westland and the headwaters of Canterbury lakes and rivers about and south of Arthur's Pass.
There are strong wind warnings for Wairarapa, Wellington, the Marlborough Sounds and the Canterbury High Country.
Several parts of the South Island and lower North Island are also under rain, wind and snow watches.
Road snow warnings
Haast Pass (SH6)
Period: From 9pm on Thursday until 6am on Friday
Rain set to turn to snow tonight. Expect 2cm to 5cm to settle on the road near the summit, with lesser amounts down to 300 metres.
Lindis Pass (SH8)
Period: from 10pm on Thursday until 6am on Friday
Snow expected to briefly affect the road for a time tonight and early on Friday morning, and 1cm to 3cm may settle on the road.
Arthurs Pass (SH73)
Period: From 12am to 8am on Friday
Rain expected to turn to snow tonight. Expect 4cm to 8cm of snow to settle on the road above 800 metres, with lesser amounts at lower levels.
Lewis Pass (SH7)
Period: From 1am until 2pm on Friday
Rain is forecast to turn to snow tonight. Expect 4cm to 8 cm of snow to settle on the road above 800 metres, with lesser amounts at lower levels.
- RNZ and ODT Online