The south of the South Island could be hit with galeforce winds this evening and tomorrow morning, MetService says.
The weather forecaster has issued a severe weather watch for Southland and the Clutha district of Otago, saying winds could reach about 120 kilometres per hour.
MetService duty forecaster Hordur Thordarson said the strongest winds in Southland were expected this evening, easing after midnight.
Mr Thordarson said in Clutha the winds should die down after dawn tomorrow.
He said people in high-sided vehicles and motorcycles should drive carefully.
Mr Thordarson said inland Canterbury and Central Otago still faced very dry conditions with low humidity and fire hazards were still very high.