Heavy rain, gales to batter parts of the country as students let out for school holidays

Heavy rain and gales are set to batter parts of the country as students celebrate the start of the school holidays this weekend.

A person standing in a storm underneath an umbrella. Source:

It comes as a front over the Tasman Sea is set to move east onto the lower South Island today, before moving onto the north of the North Island tomorrow as a low develops over the Tasman Sea, according to MetService.

It's expected to bring heavy rain to western parts of the South Island, and gale northeasterlies to the north and west of the country.

A Heavy Rain Warning is in place for Westland south of Otira and Fiordland north of George Sound, and now includes the Otago headwaters. A Heavy Rain Watch is in force for the Canterbury headwaters, and Nelson west of Riwaka.

A Heavy Rain Watch, meanwhile, is in place for Nelson west of Riwaka, and the headwater of the Canterbury lakes and rivers south of the Rakaia River. 

A Strong Wind Watch is also in place for northern parts of the North Island and northwest parts of the South Island, including: Northland, Auckland, Great Barrier Island, the Coromandel Peninsula, Bay Of Plenty, Rotorua, Gisborne north of Ruatoria, Taranaki, Taihape and inland Whanganui, Nelson west of Takaka, Buller, Westland and Fiordland north of Milford Sound.

It comes after the North Island experienced frigid temperatures this week, with Auckland yesterday experiencing its coldest day so far this year after parts of the city dropped below 0C overnight. The central North Island was also peppered with snow on Thursday as temperatures hit -1 degrees. 

For a full forecast for your region, see our weather page here.