Severe weather warnings for South and lower North

23:25, Dec 06 2013

Severe weather warnings are in place for parts of the South Island this weekend, with heavy rain set to lash Canterbury and the West Coast.

A low over the Tasman Sea is set to approach the South Island today, and cross the island tomorrow.

Rain in Westland and the Southern Alps is expected to become heavier this afternoon, before easing tomorrow morning.

Metservice said around 100-200mm of rain could fall in these areas, and warned rivers and streams in the areas are likely to rise quickly.

Heavy rain was also expected around the Canterbury Headwaters around the Waimakariri River.

Around 100 to 150mm of rain is expected around the area, as well as the Otago Headwaters, and possible thunderstorms this afternoon, said Metservice.

Northwest gales are expected around central parts of the South Island and lower North Island.

Metservice warned the gales could become severe around inland parts of Canterbury and Marlborough during this afternoon and evening.

Winds could become severe around Wellington and Wairarapa from this evening to tomorrow afternoon.