Is this really going to be a bad storm?

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One look at the weather maps and it's pretty obvious something big is stirring north and west of New Zealand - rain warnings have been issued, gale advisories too.  The upcoming storm is likely to have an impact across much of the country - but, will it be especially nasty?

Well, it depends on your opinion of 'nasty'.  To me, a big storm conjures up images of damaging gales and flooding rains.  However with each computer model run the winds appear to be weakening - so my gut instinct says no, not especially nasty - but potentially still one of the big events for the year.  

Get ready for "First big storm of the year"

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Most parts of New Zealand can expect to see the effects of the first big storm of the year from today. Heavy winds and rain are on the way, with the likelihood of flooding in low-lying areas.

The system is expected to cause problems until Thursday. Head Weather Analyst Philip Duncan says Northland and Auckland will see the first of it this afternoon. Heavy rain will set in tonight, with strong winds in the north and west.

Other forecasters are urging Kiwis to brace themselves for the big event.

Heavy rain and gales are expected to lash both islands from tonight, with the MetService warning of one of the "bigger weather events" for some time.

Rough weather moves in today

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A rapidly deepening low is today going to move into northern and western parts of New Zealand reports

Clouds will thicken over regions north of Waikato and Bay of Plenty this morning and along the West Coast.

Widespread severe weather expected

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A storm is rapidly developing northwest of New Zealand prompting MetService to issue several rain warnings.

The warnings cover Northland, Auckland, Coromandel Peninsula, Bay of Plenty, Rotorua and Gisborne,

See all current warnings here.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning lifted for Auckland/Northland

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UPDATED reports that the Severe Thunderstorm Warning issued earlier this evening for those between Whangarei and Auckland, has been lifted.

The Lightning Tracker  now shows limited activity.

Floods force evacuations in Nelson

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Three families have been evacuated by helicopter in the Nelson region as flood waters threatened their properties.

Detective Senior Sergeant Ian Langdridge says more heavy rain is predicted in the hours ahead so the Operations base and Tasman District Council are closely monitoring river levels.

Rough weather for Nelson

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The Nelson City Council is asking residents to brace themselves for some rough weather. The Motueka Highway is blocked by a slip at McLeans Reserve, about 30 kilometres from Lower Motueka Valley


More thunderstorms and heavy showers moving in

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More thunderstorms are tonight moving in to western parts of the North Island and the upper South Island.

This follows a relative calm afternoon for many after a solid band of heavy rain and thunderstorms moved over many regions around noon today.

That band is now moving over eastern Bay of Plenty and East Cape.

Thunderstorms move south, more coming for the north tonight

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Heavy weather is moving down the North Island.

Thunderstorms, hail and even a few small tornadoes are expected through Waitomo, Taumarunui and Taranaki this afternoon.

Central Auckland took a drenching, which caused superficial flooding on some roads, during the lunch hour.

Violent thunderstorm rocks Auckland, tornado danger

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A violent thunderstorm has this afternoon moved across Auckland bringing fork lightning, torrential rain and funnel clouds.

Head weather analyst Philip Duncan says almost 750 lightning strikes have been detected in the past 60 minutes and that strike rate is rapidly increasing.