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Rain, wind, maybe tornadoes on cards

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 11/05/2016

Thunderstorms may be added to the heavy rain buffeting western parts of the South Island while wild winds look set to lash areas from Wellington and Christchurch.

Heavy rains have prompted road closures overnight on the West Coast, with SH67 still closed on Thursday morning due to four washed out areas.

The MetService says downpours could persist until Sunday with severe weather warnings in place for parts of the South Island, Southern Alps and Tararua Range.

The Westland area could be facing up to 180mm of rain on Thursday on top of what has already fallen.

In addition to the heavy rain, MetService has a severe thunderstorm watch in place for Buller, Westland Fiordland and Stewart Island.

"There could also be one or two small tornadoes in localised areas associated with these thunderstorms," it warned.

There are also strong wind warnings in place for the Canterbury High Country, Wellington, Marlborough and the Wairarapa.

Severe gales up to 140km/h on Thursday could damage trees and powerlines as well as make driving dangerous.

The MetService is warning the rain may cause streams and rivers to rapidly rise and could be dangerous for trampers in the area.

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