Heavy rain, strong winds, snow in store through Monday

Thunderstorms, heavy rain and strong gusty winds are expected across much of the country through Monday as a slow-moving winter storm moves across Aotearoa.

Hail, snow and small tornadoes are also expected in some areas.

Surface flooding in Wellington has closed part of State Highway 59 from Paremata Crescent to Postgate Drive, Whitby.

Snow falls on Lake Hāwea on Sunday.

Emergency operations center controller Sam Bishop said heavy rain on Sunday resulted in “surface flooding in many areas, slips, road closures and some properties were affected,” the official said. Porirua City Council on Facebook.

Three houses were flooded at 5 p.m., while many others had floodwaters on their homes, gardens or garages, the council said.

No residents had to evacuate at this stage.

MetService said a severe thunderstorm watch remains in place for Taranaki, Kāpiti-Horohenua, Wellington, Marlborough, Nelson, Buller and the Canterbury High Country.

READ MORE: Heavy rain, thunderstorms hit Horowhenua

The forecaster said the thunderstorms could bring large hail over 20mm in diameter, damaging winds over 110km/h and possibly a tornado or two near the coast. He said any potential tornadoes would only occur in very localized areas.

Strong gales are also expected for Waitomo, Waikato, Auckland, Northland, the Coromandel Peninsula, Rotorua and Bay of Plenty.

Heavy rain and high wind warnings are in place for parts of the lower North Island, Marlborough, Westland, Buller and the Canterbury High Country.

A watch for heavy rain and strong winds is also in place for much of the country.

READ MORE: Heavy snowfall on South Island greeted by tourists

MetService warns that strong gusts of wind can cause structural damage, including to trees and power lines, and can make driving dangerous.

Meanwhile, a heavy snow watch is in place for the Queenstown Lakes District and parts of the Canterbury High Country through Sunday afternoon.

Snow falls on Lake Hāwea on Sunday.

An image sent to 1News shows snow falling near Lake Hāwea.

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