Heavy rain, strong wind easing into the weekend

People heading to the Taylor Swift concert tomorrow are being advised to take a poncho or raincoast, just in case.

An active cold front is making its way up the South Island today, bringing gales, heavy rain and snow.

“There are numerous severe weather warnings and watches out for the South Island and lower North Island, lasting to Friday," says MetService meteorologist Gerrit Keyser.

"Among the main weather concerns today are heavy rain for the west of the South Island, spilling across the Alps, and severe gales from Canterbury to Wellington.

“This rainfall event is significant and rivers in both Westland and Canterbury will rise quickly,” Keyser says. “

Additionally, surface flooding is possible in the warning and watch areas, and we urge the public to keep up to date with the latest forecasts, and severe weather advice,"

There is a strong wind warning in place on the Desert Road.

"There is currently a strong wind warning in place for the Desert Road. Please take extra care, especially if you are in a high-sided vehicle or riding a motorcycle," says the NZTA.

A cold southerly change behind the front brings a marked drop in temperature.

Thursday afternoon the change is through Christchurch and will push through Wellington late on Friday.

Christchurch was warm ahead of the cold front with an expected maximum of 27C for Thursday but it is set to plummet with a maximum of only 11C on Friday while snow is forecast for the High Country.

The cold front moves over the North Island from midday Friday and clears the island by Saturday afternoon.

The rain over the North Island will mostly fall from late Friday to Saturday morning, followed by a few showers lingering into the afternoon.

Anyone attending the Taylor Swift concert in Auckland Friday evening are advised to keep an eye on the forecast and consider taking a poncho or raincoat.

On Sunday, showers pepper the North Island where it will be cool, while a fair amount of sunshine over the South Island allows the temperatures to recover to the high teens.

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