Wet and windy for many areas

21:33, Oct 23 2013

"Significant and intense" rainfall and gale force winds will hit parts of the country today in the latest bout of spring weather.

In Marlborough gusts of up to 120kmh were predicted from this evening, easing late tomorrow morning.

Inland Canterbury was expected to be blasted by another round of powerful winds from late this morning, with severe northwesterly gales expected to reach gusts of 140kmh.

The winds were expected to spread to the coast this afternoon with gusts up to 120kmh, before easing this evening.

Northwesterlies gusting to 130kmh were forecast for Wellington and the Wairarapa from about midnight, easing tomorrow afternoon.

Heavy rain was already falling on the West Coast and Southern Alps, with spillover into the Canterbury Headwaters, MetService said this morning.

As the rain moved north, the wettest place was likely to be northwest Nelson where rain was expected to become heavier this afternoon.

"Heavy falls and thunderstorms should continue through Thursday night and Friday morning before easing late Friday morning," MetService said.

Up to 250 millimetres could fall in the 24 hours from noon today with up to 200mm in the Buller area in the 24 hours from 10am.

"These are significant and intense falls, especially for Buller and northwest Nelson," MetService said.

"People are advised to be wary of rapidly rising rivers, surface flooding, and slips in vulnerable areas."

In the Tararua Ranges north of Wellington, rain was expected to become heavier from this afternoon and evening, continuing through to about midday tomorrow.