Days of rain forecast for South Canterbury

South Canterbury residents are being warned to keep their raincoats close this weekend.

Metservice is warning the weekend will be ''pretty cold and pretty grim'' weather-wise. A severe weather watch in place, and significant rain is forecast for South Canterbury and eastern parts of Otago later today and Saturday.

A front is expected to bring rain to coastal areas and snow to inland places, especially about higher parts of Canterbury, south of Darfield.

A MetService spokesman said it was more a case of a severe weather watch for South Canterbury than a warning.

It would be a weekend to keep raincoats "close by", he said.

The watch is for possible significant rainfall over lower lying areas of Canterbury south of Christchurch and eastern parts of Otago from Dunedin northwards from later this afternoon through to Saturday night or even early Sunday morning.

It also covers a period of rain over flood-affected parts of Northland during Saturday and early Sunday.

The overnight temperature in Timaru tonight is expected to be one degree Celsius and is forecast to reach a high of 7C over the weekend.

Rain is forecast until Wednesday.

The Timaru Herald