Warning of more severe weather

02:48, Jan 04 2014

Another severe weather blast is set to hammer holiday-goers.

The MetService has today issued a severe weather warning, with the lower North Island and the Marlborough Sounds expected to experience the brunt of heavy rain and gale-force winds.

It said a front and associated low, preceded by a very moist and strong northwest flow, are expected to move east over central and northern New Zealand late tonight and tomorrow morning.

''Periods of rain are expected over western areas, with the heaviest falls likely about the Mount Taranaki and the Tararua Range where 150 to 200mm of rain may accumulate in a 15 to 18 hour period,'' the MetService said.

''In addition, gale northwesterlies are likely about the central and lower North Island and also the upper South Island ahead of this front. Severe northwesterly gales are expected about the Marlborough Sounds, Wellington and Wairarapa during Sunday morning, with gusts 120 kmh in exposed places.''

The MetService warned: ''People are advised that heavy rain is likely to cause streams and rivers to rise rapidly, surface flooding and slips.

''Winds of this strength may bring down trees and power lines, damage insecure structures and make driving hazardous for motorcycles and high-sided vehicles.''