A severe weather warning has been issued for the lower half of the North Island and parts of the South Island as gale force winds and heavy rains are expected to hit Wellington, Wairarapa and eastern areas of the south island tomorrow.

MetService say a substantial amount of rain could fall in the Fiordland, Westland and about the headwaters of the Otago and Canterbury lakes and rivers over a 12 hour period. Bursts of intense rain are also expected for the southern alps.

MetService say there is a possibility of slips and surface flooding in association with the heavy rain. Thunderstorms could also hit some of the affected areas.

Winds are expected to reach gale force in Canterbury, Marlborough, Wellington and southern Wairarapa on Sunday.


MetService warns exposed areas in these regions may experience gusts up to 130 km per hour, especially during the afternoon and evening.

"These winds have the potential to cause damage to loose structures and make driving tall-sided vehicles and motorcycles difficult."