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Heavy rain forecast for parts of South Island stricken by floods

Heavy rain has been forecast for northern and western parts of the South Island, a little more than a week after torrential rain caused severe flooding in the region.

An umbrella in the rain. Source: istock.com

A front over the Tasman Sea is forecast to move across the South Island from tomorrow, preceded by a strong and moist north to northeasterly flow, then followed by unsettled northwesterlies, according to MetService.

It's expected to bring a period of heavy rain to parts of Buller, Nelson and Marlborough, preceded by strong to severe gale force winds in Fiordland.

It follows an extension of a state of local emergency in Marlborough until Saturday, July 31.

An orange-level heavy rain warning has been issued for Nelson northwest of Motueka from 9pm tonight to 7pm tomorrow, and Westland south of Otira from 8pm tonight to 8pm tomorrow.

Around 100 to 140mm of rain is expected to accumulate about the ranges, and 60 to 80mm elsewhere.

Peak rates of 10 to 20mm/hr are expected to fall in Nelson overnight through to midday tomorrow. Rain or showers are expected to continue to fall after this period but is not expected to reach warning amounts at this stage.

Meanwhile, Westland should expect to see 120 to 150mm of rain to accumulate about the ranges and 70 to 100mm nearer the coast. Peak rates of 10 to 20mm/h expected overnight through to midday tomorrow, then briefly again in the afternoon.

A heavy rain watch is in place for the remainder of Nelson, Marlborough west of Blenheim and north of the Awatere valley, including the Sounds from tomorrow morning.

The Buller ranges south of Seddonville and north of Reefton are also under the watch from tonight, while the watch is in place for Fiordland about and north of Milford Sound from 4pm today.

Fiordland also has a strong wind watch from 3pm this afternoon.

A strong wind watch is also in place for Auckland, parts of Hawke's Bay and Gisborne, Taranaki, Whanganui, Taihape, the Canterbury High Country, Banks Peninsula and part of Southland. 

In the north, a heavy rain watch has also been issued for Northland, Auckland, Great Barrier Island, the Coromandel Peninsula, parts of the Bay of Plenty, Gisborne and Mount Taranaki.

To keep up to date with the weather watches and changes, click here.