Heavy rain and thunderstorms are hitting the West Coast in the latest wild weather to hit the country.

A bomb low – a term for a rapidly deepening low pressure centre – is expected to cause severe weather for the next two days.

Surface flooding is affecting several South Island highways and gale gusts of up to 150km/h are expected in exposed Canterbury areas tonight.

Meanwhile, ferry services out of the capital were cancelled this evening and strong winds toppled a traffic light at the corner of Taranaki and Dixon streets in the city centre. A power pole also reportedly blew over on Aotea Quay.

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