Jamie Morton is the NZ Herald's science reporter.

Severe weather warning for parts of New Zealand

A warning has been issued for some areas of the country with gales and rain expected. Photo / Zoe Farnath
A warning has been issued for some areas of the country with gales and rain expected. Photo / Zoe Farnath

A severe weather warning has been issued for some parts of New Zealand today, with unsettled conditions forecast across many regions through to the weekend.

MetService today also issued a severe weather warning for Buller, Westland and Marlborough, with gales and rain forecast for these areas, and black ice warnings for some roads in Gore, Southland and Central Otago.

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Nasty weather was possible for many regions until Saturday, with a complex low over the Tasman Sea dragging down moisture from the tropics, which could lead to heavy rain across northern New Zealand.

As the low crossed the upper North Island tomorrow, a high was forecast to build over southern parts of the country, directing southeast gales and rain across central and northern regions.

There was a low confidence of rainfall accumulations reaching warning criteria in Auckland, Coromandel Peninsula, eastern Waikato and Bay of Plenty tomorrow morning.

During tomorrow and Saturday, southeasterly rain was likely to be heavy at times across Hawkes Bay and Gisborne, where there was a moderate confidence of warning amounts of rain.

In these areas, there was also a low risk of southeast gales becoming severe.

A lesser risk of rain reaching warning amounts extended further south to Wairarapa and the Kaikoura Ranges tomorrow.

Furher, as the low moved northeast of the North Island, there was a moderate chance that south to southeast gales could become severe for a time from Waikato to Wellington, including Bay of Plenty and the central North Island high country, also the Marlborough Sounds, Nelson, Buller and Westland.

The southerly flow would also spread cooler air over the country, likely bringing snow about the ranges from Marlborough to Hawkes Bay.

A large ridge of high pressure was then forecast to spread across New Zealand during Sunday and Monday, with frosty conditions likely.

Weatherwatch.co.nz forecast that a rain may be heavy overnight tonight in the Bay of Plenty, as well as in Nelson and Marlborough.

For tomorrow, it forecast heavy rain for the East Coast of the North Island and strong southeast winds through Cook Strait and the lower North Island, and up to Taranaki and Gisborne in the west and east.

Weather warnings:

• A severe weather warning has been issued for Buller, Westland and Marlborough with gales and rain forecast for these areas.

• In the Gore district, Waikaka Rd, between North Chatton and Waikaka is affected by black ice.

• A hard frost in Central Otago means there is a risk of black ice on the roads. Thick fog is also affecting some of the roads in the region. Grit is being applied by contractors and motorists should reduce their speeds to suit the conditions.

• On State Highway 94 between Te Anau and Milford Sound, black ice is affecting the road between Lake Gunn to the Homer Tunnel. Motorists should reduce speed and drive to the conditions.

- NZ Herald

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