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Wild week of weather with more to come

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 22/05/2016

Thunderstorms generated more than 60,000 lightning strikes in New Zealand in a week of tornadoes, waterspouts and heavy rain.

The MetService says the weather last week was tumultuous and there's more to come.

Cape Turnagain on the east coast of the North Island reported a gust of 174km/h on Wednesday night, while on Saturday a gust of 165km/h was recorded near Kaeo in Northland, says meteorologist Peter Little.

Severe weather warnings for heavy rain remain in force on Sunday for Southland and eastern Otago. A cold southerly is likely to bring snow to some of the higher passes and hill country farms in these areas.

"Yet more wild weather is forecast for the week ahead as a number of weather systems, embedded in a westerly flow, cross the country in rapid succession," Mr Little says.

A few snow flurries are possible about higher parts of the road through Arthur's Pass in the South Island from late Sunday afternoon until Sunday night.

Snow showers are expected about higher parts of Porter's Pass from late Sunday afternoon until late Monday morning, and as much as four centimetres could accumulate above about 700m. Further snow is possible on Monday evening.

As much as 10cm of snow may accumulate about the summit of Lindis Pass, with lesser amounts to 700m.

Further snow showers are possible on Monday afternoon and evening.

Heavy rain is also forecast about the ranges of Southland and eastern Otago.

Streams and rivers could rise rapidly and surface flooding is possible.

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