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.
Weatherwatch.co.nz 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.
Streams and rivers would rise quickly, and there could be surface flooding in low-lying areas.
The weather was likely to make driving dangerous, causing slips in hilly areas, and damaging trees and powerlines.
Storms are forecast for Northland, north Auckland and Great Barrier Island this evening, with up to 90mm of rain predicted in some hill areas.
Coromandel, Bay of Plenty and Gisborne were expected to be buffeted tonight and tomorrow morning, with the storm easing in the afternoon or evening.
About 100mm to 150mm of rain was expected near the ranges, with heaviest falls north of Gisborne.
The biggest rainfalls would be in Nelson, Marlborough, Canterbury and Otago tomorrow and Tuesday, with up to 200mm expected in places.
Gales would strike from Auckland to Kapiti, and parts of the South Island, including Nelson, Buller, Westland, Marlborough and Canterbury, tomorrow.
They could be severe in Taranaki, Manawatu, the Kapiti Coast, valleys in the Buller and Westland regions and around Banks Peninsula.
– NEWSTALKZB.CO.NZ, NZHERALD.CO.NZ