Heavy rain, high winds forecast

A severe weather warning has been issued for much of the country including Nelson, with warnings of surface flooding and strong gales.

In Nelson the heavy rain started falling this morning and was expected to continue until about midnight with up to 120 millimetres falling, the MetService forecast.

It advised people in the region to look out for rising river levels and surface flooding and slips.

Elsewhere in the South Island southeasterlies were forecast to rise to severe gales in exposed parts of the Fiordland this afternoon with gusts of around 130 kilometres per hour in exposed places. The winds should ease during Tuesday morning.

‘‘Winds of that strength could damage trees and powerlines,’’ MetService said.

Snow was forecast down to 500 metres in Southland this afternoon.

The severe weather warning was also issued for the Coromandel, eastern ranges of Waikato, Bay of Plenty and northern Gisborne, where heavy rain was expected to continue until this afternoon.

The Nelson Mail