Rain and possibly thunder and lightning are expected to lash parts of the country again as MetService issues a severe weather watch for Manawatu down to Buller.

MetService communications meteorologist Lisa Murray said the slow-moving front would bring heavy rain to central New Zealand today and tomorrow, particularly in the Tararua Ranges.

There was also a moderate risk of more thunder and lightning.

Heavy rain had already closed State Highway 6 between Fox Glacier and Haast on the West Coast yesterday after a culvert washed out.


Between 130mm and 180mm of rain was expected on the Tararua Ranges from midday today until tomorrow afternoon.

"What that can mean is rivers and streams could rise rapidly, you could get slips and there is a knock-on affect downhill in those rivers and streams and for bridges," Murray said.

MetService would issue another watch this morning but Murray said as soon as the front passed tomorrow another was set to move in, making for a rainy weekend for many.

Wellington would experience much of the wet conditions and Christchurch would also succumb by Saturday.

"It's not going to be a sunshiny weekend."

Further north there would be rainfall up to Taranaki and into the Eastern Bay of Plenty.

Today's forecast


Cloudy patches with blue sky. Westerly winds reaching 20km/h. 21C.

Chance of afternoon drizzle. Northwesterly wind. 22C.

Rain and drizzle throughout the morning. Low cloud but little wind. 17C.

Morning and evening high cloud. Fine spells and northeasterlies, 25km/h. 16C.

Evening cloud developing. Northeasterlies, 25km/h. 15C.