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Thunderstorms and torrential rain will continue to affect much of the North Island’s northern and western regions for the rest of Sunday as a low in the Tasman Sea continues to send active fronts across the country.  Several fronts are associated with the low and a line of heavy showers, some with thunder, will this afternoon make their way south and eastwards across Auckland, Waikato, Coromandel, Taranaki and Manawatu/Kapiti.

Head weather analyst Philip Duncan is warning motorists driving across the North Island to take extreme care.  “There’s a very high risk of surface flooding over the next 24 hours and some of these downpours may also cause localised flash flooding in small streams”.  Another front overnight and tomorrow morning is likely to bring similar conditions to today.

But as the downpours continue over the North Island The Radio Network’s Weather Watch Centre is starting to shift its attention back to an aggressive low in the Southern Ocean.  “This is the real start of winter for many.  Snow will fall to sea level in the South Island with snow flurries developing late on Monday night in Southland and reaching Christchurch during Tuesday.  By Tuesday night it will be in the North Island with heavy snow possibly closing State Highway One, The Desert Road”.

Duncan says Invercargill, Dunedin, Queenstown, Timaru and quite possibly Christchurch will all see snow flurries as the bitterly cold pool of air moves up the country.  “Daytime highs in the South Island will hover around 5 to 7 degrees for many places over the next week, with another snowy outbreak possible next weekend”.

Meanwhile strong winds, likely gale force across central New Zealand, will pick up on Wednesday.  “This system will make the whole country shiver.  We’re in for a very stormy, wintry, week”.


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