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Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

Heavy rain is forecast for the upper South Island/Te Wai Pounamu and the West Coast tomorrow and into the weekend.

Severe gales are also forecast for Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough. 

Given it is the school holidays, roads could be busier than usual, says Tresca Forrester, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Journey Manager.  

“It can be hard to see the highway in torrential rain and people should be aware of small slips and areas of surface flooding,” she says. 

“Driving slower than the posted speed limit is the best idea, with your headlights on. 

“It takes longer to stop on slippery roads. Double the two-second rule to ensure a safe distance between you and the car in front,” she says. 

The wet weather forecast by MetService is expected from Thursday night into the weekend. Areas to take extreme care include the West Coast, Marlborough, Nelson, over the Tākaka Hill in Tasman District and the alpine passes – Arthur’s Pass, SH73, and the Lewis Pass, SH7. 

In high winds, anyone driving a high sided vehicle like a campervan, towing a caravan or riding a motorcycle is vulnerable.  If in doubt, park up and wait. 

Rain intensity is expected to peak on Friday afternoon and into the evening across the West Coast, Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough.

Tips for driving in bad weather:

  • Slow down
  • Watch your following distances
  • Watch your visibility – dip your lights in fog, headlights on in heavy rain
  • Brake carefully – sudden braking can cause sliding
  • Allow extra time to get where you’re going.

Check this website for updates: https://www.metservice.com/warnings/severe-weather-outlook(external link)

MetService: Upper South Island https://www.metservice.com/warnings/home#upper-south(external link)

Waka Kotahi traffic map for highway closures and warnings: https://www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/traffic(external link)

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