The lower half of New Zealand faces a miserable start to the week with watches and warnings issued for heavy rain and severe gales.
An active front is expected to move northeast onto the lower South Island early Monday morning.
MetService warns this could bring heavy rain to western regions and the Alps, and severe gales for Southland.
“The front should continue moving north over the South Island during the remainder of Monday and through Tuesday, followed by a cold south-to-southwesterly change,” MetService says.
“A deep low may develop along this front to the east of the lower South Island on Tuesday, bringing the potential for severe gale southerlies, heavy rain and large southerly waves for eastern parts of the South Island.”
MetService has issued watches and warnings for heavy rain and severe gales for Monday with some extending into Tuesday and early Wednesday.
On Tuesday there is a high confidence of rainfall accumulations reaching warning amounts for Westland, Southland, Otago and Canterbury.
There is also a high confidence southwesterly gales will be severe for North Otago and Canterbury, especially the Banks Peninsula.
There is a moderate confidence of severe southerly gales about the Southern Alps north of Fiordland and for the south of Nelson and Marlborough, and a moderate confidence in severe northwest gales about the Cook Strait.
High pressure is expected to bring settled weather to much of the country on Wednesday and Thursday.