– Heavy rain, strong winds for many parts of the country
– Dangerous surf along west coast
The big storm predicted to hit New Zealand this weekend is this afternoon starting to appear on satellite images. TRN’s Head Weather Analyst Philip Duncan says the low at the top of the Tasman Sea is being fed by air heavy with moisture from the tropics – and that spells heavy rain for much of New Zealand.
“The storm is going to develop and deepen during Saturday. Because it’s expected to move quite quickly towards New Zealand we’re likely to see north east winds build up rapidly on Saturday afternoon in the north”.
Duncan says rain will be the main feature though, falling Saturday night in Northland with heavy falls developing and moving south during Sunday morning. “Our advice to residents recently affected by floods in Northland is to ensure you’re prepared for further flooding. While we’re not expecting it to be anywhere near what we saw earlier this month, there is the possibility for moderate flooding due to the soil being saturated already”.
TRN’s Weather Watch Centre is also advising motorists to take extreme care in Northland, with a high risk of further slips and a moderate risk of roads being flooded from Auckland northwards, especially from midnight Saturday to noon Sunday.
Wind is also likely to be part of this storm however the worst of it will now likely be out to sea. “North east winds may gust to gale force in coastal areas north of Auckland overnight Saturday/Sunday morning but damage should be minimal if any at all at this stage”.
MetService has issued a number of heavy rain warnings predicting up to 70mm of rain overnight Saturday night/Sunday morning in Northland and for Coromandel and the hills around Bay of Plenty up to 120mm Sunday morning. They say this system has the potential to be a significant weather event. Heavy rain fall warnings have also been issued for the South Island’s west coast all day Saturday.
But looking ahead to Monday sees severe weather for all of New Zealand as the storm continues to intensify. “This low will continue to deepen over the next 72 hours, with the air pressure possibly dropping to about 970mb that means very strong winds for most of New Zealand and heavy rain for the South Island. Most at risk will be southern and eastern parts of the South Island on Monday or Tuesday”.
“We are advising boaties and fisherman to completely avoid the west coast from Northland to Southland from Saturday night until at least Tuesday. Very low air pressure combined with gales off shore will create massive seas and very strong rip tides”.
The Weather Watch Centre will monitor this system closely and will update via email when needed over the next 72 hours.
WEATHER NEWS HEADLINES:
– Warm across the east coast of the North Island this afternoon. At 3pm it was 19 degrees in Napier.