Severe weather warning

Last updated 11:14 01/01/2014
Southland Times photo
BARRY HARCOURT/Fairfax NZ

Peter Ridsdale of Invercargill could almost have his morning shower as he cooks breakfast of blue cod on his barbecue at the Te Anau Kiwi lakefront Holiday Park New Years Day. Heavy rain overnight left large pockets of water sitting on tent fly's. Mr Ridsdale is a member of the Southland Conservation Board and manager of Ascot Park Hotel.

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Severe weather is on its way, and MetService has issued a warning with the possibility of flash flooding and thunderstorms across the country.

A complex trough over the Tasman Sea was expected to cross the country today, with rain or showers likely for much of the country.

Thunderstorms were possible in many places, with a high risk in northern Westland, Buller, Nelson and the Marlborough Sounds, bringing heavy rain and hail. 

The most persistent heavy rain was expected about Buller and the ranges of northern Westland, where 70 to 100mm may accumulate.

A burst of heavy rain was also expected about the hills of eastern Nelson and western parts of the Marlborough Sounds, where 50 to 70mm may accumulate over six hours.

The front was expected to move through the lower North Island this afternoon, and could become increasingly unstable as it reaches the upper North Island.

There was a threat of one or two storms becoming severe, producing heavy downpours and a small tornado, but at this stage the risk was low.

There was also a moderate risk of isolated thunderstorms in South Canterbury, North Otago and Dunedin, with heavy rain, hail and a low risk of a funnel cloud or small tornado, MetService said.

People were to be advised that heavy rain was likely to cause streams and rivers to rise rapidly, with flash flooding possible.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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