Sub-tropical storm on the way; warnings issued

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A sub-tropical low looks set to bring a windy, wet, few days to northern parts of New Zealand arriving in Northland on Saturday and reaching Hawkes Bay early next week.

The low was predicted earlier this week by computer models used by the Weather Watch Centre and in the past 48 hours the models have shown a dramatic deepening and a change to it's path - taking the storm's strongest winds right over northern New Zealand.

Kaitaia tornado causes extensive damage

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Up to 15 houses were left with missing roofing iron and tiling, along with broken windows, after what appeared to be a tornado ripped through Kaitaia Saturday afternoon.

The main frontal band is now spreading away from New Zealand from East Cape.

Residents prepare to return home as floods ease

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Rain that raised river levels and caused slips on the East Coast has eased overnight, allowing people evacuated yesterday to prepare to return home.

About 500 people faced being cut off in the East Coast town of Te Karaka yesterday, as roads were swamped by flooding and further downpours loomed.

Storm cuts power, closes roads

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Severe weather overnight has brought down trees, slips and cut power to thousands. 

See photos and a video of last nights storm here.

NewstalkZB reports a number of roads have been affected by the stormy weather. 

Severe thunderstorms across Auckland, Sunday night.

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As predicted earlier Sunday evening thunderstorms moved down from Northland during the evening and in to Auckland and Waikato overnight.

The Lightning Tracker at detected a few thousand strikes during the storm overnight.

Stormy weather moving in

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A few thunderstorms are tonight showing up on the Lightning Tracker at across parts of Northland.  Isolated heavy showers are likely from Auckland northwards as the centre of the low pressure system moves closer to land. 

Torrential rain, gales likely

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A large area of low pressure is expected to rapidly develop during Friday and Saturday then move across the North Island bringing torrential rain and possibly severe gales for some regions.

Polar blast - the latest

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The polar blast moving up the country is running a little later than first thought with it pushing in to Wellington as we update this story.

Yesterday backed off from the prediction of heavy snow affecting the South Island and this morning reports are coming in of only very light snow falls across Canterbury.