Heavy rain, strong winds in store for parts of the South Island

Source: 1News

A dose of wild weather is set to hit much of the South Island from Friday.

Lake Tekapo (file picture).

MetService has issued an orange heavy rain warning for a number of areas, taking effect on Friday and going into Saturday.

The areas include Westland about and south of Otira; the headwaters of the Canterbury lakes and rivers about and south of Arthur's Pass and the headwaters of the Otago lakes and rivers.

An orange heavy rain warning is already in place for Fiordland, until 6am on Saturday.

Around 260mm of rain is expected in some areas, with rivers likely to rise rapidly with surface flooding potentially making driving hazardous.

MetService is asking that all motorists in the affected areas to take precautions when driving.

Strong wind warnings have been issued for the Canterbury High Country, Canterbury Plains, Christchurch and Banks Peninsula, Fiordland, Southland, Stewart Island and Otago.

Winds are expected to reach up to 150 km/h at times in these areas.

The wind warnings take effect on Friday and end either late on Friday night or on Saturday morning.

Trees and powerlines could come down during the wind, drivers are warned.

The weather warnings come after flooding forced road closures in Canterbury (including Christchurch) late last month.

At around the same time flooding forced road closures in Otago and some Dunedin residents had to evacuate their homes fearing the Water of Leith would burst its banks.

People are being advised to keep up with the latest weather forecasts in case further warnings are added.