Weather: Wet, windy weekend for Wellington, western South Island

  • 26/01/2024

Wet and windy weather is expected to hit the west of the South Island and lower North Island this weekend.

Heavy rain is expected to batter the West Coast and Southern Alps overnight, with MetService warning surface flooding, slips and swollen rivers will be more likely due to the wet weather the region experienced last week.

MetService said an active front is forecast to move quickly northwards over southern and central New Zealand during Saturday.

"The front is expected to bring a burst of heavy northerly rain to western areas and is preceded by gale force northerly winds in exposed places," MetService said.

For the Westland District, especially around the glaciers, this has the potential to be a significant short-duration heavy rainfall event following recent heavy rain that has fallen in the area. 

People in the area should remain vigilant and up to date with the latest warnings, MetService said.

An orange heavy rain warning has been issued for the Westland District from 9pm Friday until Saturday morning. MetService expects up to 250mm of rainfall near the glaciers, with lesser amounts about for the ranges and coastal areas.

A strong wind watch has also been issued for the district with northerly winds possibly approaching severe gales in exposed places.

Further up the coast in Buller and the Tasman, an orange heavy rain warning has been issued for Saturday morning.

Canterbury High Country will be under an orange strong wind warning from midnight Friday until 8am Saturday with severe gale north to northwesterlies gusting 120km/h in exposed places.

MetService has also issued six heavy rain watches. These are for Grey District, headwaters of the Canterbury lakes and rivers south of Arthur's Pass, headwaters of the Otago lakes and rivers, Fiordland north of Doubtful Sound, Mount Taranaki/Taranaki Maunga, and the Tararua Range.

Additionally, Wellington will be under a strong wind watch from 6am until 3pm Saturday.

The wet weather comes after the Westland District was plunged into a state of emergency last week after a red heavy rain alert was issued. 

MetService's short forecast:

Northland, Auckland, Coromandel, Bay of Plenty

Fine today. Becoming cloudy tomorrow, with patchy light rain developing later.

Waikato to Wellington, including the central high country

Fine today. Rain spreading north tomorrow, easing later and clearing south of Taihape.


Mainly fine, however scattered rain tomorrow afternoon.

Hawke's Bay, Wairarapa

Mostly fine, but scattered rain during tomorrow morning and afternoon.

Marlborough, Nelson

Mainly fine, but a period of rain tomorrow morning.

Buller, Westland, Fiordland

Rain spreading northwards today and overnight, with heavy falls. Rain with thunderstorms in Fiordland and south Westland tomorrow, but rain easing to a few showers further north.

Canterbury, Otago, Southland

High cloud thickening. Rain developing in Southland and inland Otago tonight, spreading elsewhere overnight, then clearing tomorrow, but scattered showers lingering in Southland and Otago.

Chatham Islands

Cloudy with the odd shower.