Much of the country is heading for a wet and windy end to the week.

Nelson is under a severe weather warning, with up to 100 millimetres of rain expected in the 24 hours from midnight tonight, in the ranges of northwest Nelson and Buller.

Severe northwesterly gales are expected to develop near Wellington, Wairarapa and the Marlborough Sounds tomorrow morning before spreading to Manawatu, central Hawkes Bay and the Tararua District by the afternoon.

The winds could potentially damage trees and power lines, creating hazardous conditions for drivers, says the MetService.


Meteorologist Daniel Corbett says there could also be bursts of intense rain in Golden Bay.

"Some fairly swift winds as well, not just for them but along the West Coast and elsewhere and the whole thing will sweep across as we head through Friday into early Saturday.''

A severe weather watch has been issued for Otago and Southland, with 50 millimetres of rain possible in 12 hours.

MetService is also wary of the possibility of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes for the North Island this evening.