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Heavy rain & gales to brush upper North Island, high pressure builds elsewhere (+4 Maps)

Low pressure continues to affect northern New Zealand while a ridge of high pressure builds up to the west of the South Island and will gradually cover the country later this week.

Today cloudy or rainy weather is dominant in the North Island today, wettest in the upper North Island. The Eastern side of the South Island will be affected by more light drizzly rain or misty showers due to the southerly winds. The western side will be mostly sunny. Conditions will brighten up in Canterbury finally on Thursday, some even from Wednesday.

As of Wednesday morning the air pressure gradient between the high to the south and the low to the
north is enhanced – this means the ‘squash zone’ between the two systems ramps up and we get stronger winds from the easterly quarter.

Heavy rain and strong easterly quarter winds are expected in Northland and Auckland, as low pressure deepens a little to the north of the area while the high further south strengthens. This combined action makes strong winds, even though there is no storm. Wind speeds will be above 50km/h during Wednesday afternoon and evening, and possibly reach gale force (63 km/h) in some areas, especially marine areas in the east of the upper North Island (like Great Barrier Island for example).

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