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Severe weather warning issued for BOP

Rain is expected to be heavy from around 9am to 5pm, particularly about the Eastern Bay of Plenty ranges.

A heavy rain warning is in force for the Bay of Plenty as a significant weather event is forecast to hit New Zealand today.

The MetService says an active frontal system is moving across the North Island this morning, bringing further rain and northwest gales.

"In the wake of this, a very cold and unstable air mass will spread over southern New Zealand from the southwest, and snow is forecast to fall to low levels.

"This continues to be a significant weather event," says the weather organisation in a statement released this morning.

"Strong winds could make driving hazardous, especially for high sided vehicles and motorcycles. Snow is also expected to affect many higher roads and passes across the South Island,causing disruption to travel.

"Also, the combination of snow and strong cold southwest winds is likely to cause stress to livestock. People are urged to take extra precautions, especially those travelling, and to stay up to date with the latest forecasts and warnings for their area as the event unfolds."

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HEAVY RAIN WARNING - ORANGE
===========================
Heavy rain may cause streams and rivers to rise rapidly. Surface flooding and slips are also possible and driving conditions may be hazardous.

Area: The ranges of eastern Bay Of Plenty
Valid: 8 hours from 9am to 5pm Sunday
Forecast: Expect a further 50 to 80mm to accumulate. Peak intensities
of 15 to 25mm/h.

Area: Taumarunui and Tongariro National Park
Valid: 3 hours from 9am to 12pm Sunday
Forecast: Expect a further 30 to 40mm to accumulate. Peak intensities
of 15 to 25mm/h.

Area: Westland about and south of Otira
Valid: 4 hours from 9am to 1pm Sunday
Forecast: Expect a further 30 to 40mm to accumulate about the ranges,
with lesser amounts near the coast. Peak intensities of 10 to 20mm/h
in possible thunderstorms.

Area: The Canterbury headwaters about and south of Arthurs Pass
Valid: 4 hours from 9am to 1pm Sunday
Forecast: Expect a further 30 to 40mm to accumulate near the divide,
and 20 to 30mm within 15km in the east. Peak intensities of 10 to
20mm/h in possible thunderstorms near the divide.

Freezing level lowering to around 1800 metres this morning.

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STRONG WIND WARNING - ORANGE
============================
Strong wind gusts could damage trees, powerlines and unsecured structures.Driving may be hazardous, especially for high-sided vehicles and motorcycles.

Area: Wellington and Wairarapa excluding the Tararua District
Valid: 6 hours from 9am to 3pm Sunday
Forecast: While winds have eased this morning, gusts may still reach 120km/h.

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WARNINGS NO LONGER IN FORCE
===========================

Heavy rain warning lifted for: Mount Taranaki: Rain has eased, and the Warning has been lifted.

Heavy rain warning lifted for: Nelson west of Motueka, Buller, Westland north of Otira: Although further rain is forecast, it is no longer expected to meet warning criteria. The warning has been lifted.

Heavy rain warning lifted for: Tararua Range: Rain is easing this morning, and the Warning has been lifted.

Strong wind warning lifted for: South Taranaki, inland Wanganui and Taihape:Winds have eased, and the Warning has been lifted.

Strong wind warning lifted for: Nelson: Winds have eased, and the Warning has been lifted.

Strong wind warning lifted for: Buller and Westland: Winds are easing, and the Warning has been lifted.

Strong wind warning lifted for: Canterbury High Country: Winds are easing this morning, and the Warning has been lifted.

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