Severe rain warnings are in effect for parts of the upper South Island and Taranaki

Parts of the South Island and the west coast of the North Island expect heavy rainfall on Saturday


Parts of the South Island and the west coast of the North Island expect heavy rainfall on Saturday

Metservice has issued heavy rain warnings for parts of Taranaki, Tasman and the central South Island, with significant rainfall expected on Saturday afternoon.

A front that is currently west of the country will cross all day, until later Saturday evening.

Meteorologist Mmathapelo Makpabutlane said high rainfall was expected for Tasman, the Richmond and Bryant ranges, the Westland ranges south of Otira and for Taranaki Maunga.

“There is a possibility that some precipitation accumulations may reach levels that we would normally look at for possible warnings,” Makpabutlane said.

* The weather front is expected to bring a ‘change of scenery’ over the weekend with warmer temperatures and rain
* Heavy rain and severe storms are forecast for the western and northern parts of the South Island tonight
* The ‘worst is over’ for Auckland and Northland, the rain is moving back towards Coromandel and Bay of Plenty

The areas are mostly mountainous, but MetService advised people in the surrounding areas to keep an eye out.

Moderate thunderstorms are also possible in other parts of the country.

The western parts of the country, from Northland to Taranaki and the western part of the South Island and parts of Westland, are at risk of thunderstorms.

Makpabutlane said people should exercise caution and be aware of the possibility of heavy downpours during the day.

Over lunch on Saturday, a Metservice metrologist said observed rainfall in the Tasman Ranges was between 50-90ml of rain, with similar observations for the Westland ranges.

For Westland, Metservice said there has been no significant rainfall yet, but their watch is expected to last until 11pm.

The area could get more showery weather in the afternoon as the front moves in.

Metservice said Taranaki should also keep an eye on as the day progresses with their heavy rain watch expected to end at 8 p.m.

There is still the possibility of thunderstorms off the west coast as the weather front moves across the country.