Photo by Joshua Rutledge.

Severe weather watch predicts gales and heavy rain

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Hold on to your hats! Metservice has issued a Severe Weather Watch forecasting gale force winds and heavy rain over central New Zealand.

“A front over central New Zealand continues to move northwards today. A strong, moist north-west flow ahead of this front is forecast to bring a period of heavy rain to western parts of central New Zealand.”

The watch is for heavy rain predicted within a short duration about the western Tasman ranges and just west of the Takaka township today, with the possibility of 50 to 70mm of rain within 6-12 hours.

The Severe Weather Watch over the Buller ranges has been upgraded to a Warning due to the predicted heavy rain.

West and north-west gales are also likely about parts of the South Island and southern North Island, including inland Marlborough and the Sounds, with Wellington and Wairarapa being issued a Warning.