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Is this a storm in a tea cup?

There’s been a lot of publicity about the storm that’s moving across New Zealand today – but is it living up to the media attention it’s received so far? forecasters have been closely watching the system since the early hours of this morning and while the nation’s biggest centres haven’t seen too much in the way of severe weather, some regions have.

Tauranga and western Bay of Plenty have today been pounded by heavy rain, since early this morning the rain hasn’t let up and as of 8:30pm it was only now showing signs of easing in Tauranga.

Heavy rain will continue in eastern Bay of Plenty, East Cape and other eastern areas of the North Island for much of the night.

In Christchurch moderate rain has eased this evening and forecaster Richard Green doubts it will return before midnight.

Mr Green says the main concern is in Timaru and other regions south of the Garden City.

However some weather followers at the NZ Weather Forum are doubting the rainfall will be as high as predicted across Canterbury.

Heavy rain is in fact easing as far south as Ashburton, and may well ease even further south this evening.  But more rain is predicted after midnight with perhaps much heavier rain setting in before dawn.

MetService maintains rain warnings for the area, with their Meteorologists confident that significant rain will continue to feed into the region.

Mr Green says the wind flow certainly suggests this and that it’s very similar to the 1986 flooding of the South Canterbury region which left the region inundated.

WeatherWatch head analyst Philip Duncan says it’s easy for people to think the storm is a fizzer.  “When you see the majority of the population missing out on rough weather it’s easy to think that this system was basically a storm in a teacup.  However the everyday public probably don’t notice what is happening perhaps just a relatively short distance away from them where conditions are far more severe”.

Mr Duncan says when you have to forecast for a nation as narrow as New Zealand you have to accept not all severe weather events will hit the small areas that are heavily populated and that all the warnings were appropriate.


sw on 24/05/2010 9:57am

The thing is if you’re were around in the 1980s and early 90s we had systems just like these all throughout the winter months and was part of a normal winter.

Robert on 24/05/2010 9:27am

No sign of winds, no sign of any large downpours.. where is it?

Sanson like Feilding and Palmerston North are still waiting.. its only drizzle

WW Forecast Team on 24/05/2010 9:31am

Actually you’re probably in the region least likely to see anything…the centre of the system will pass over you and due to the geographical nature of NZ you probably will see very little severe weather.

Tomorrow you’re likely to have light winds and any rain or showers clearing… could be some showers tomorrow night and on Wednesday with strengthening SE winds.

– WW

Robert on 24/05/2010 9:49am

Just give the clouds a squeeze for uson the way through (lol). we are missing the fun.. our water tanks are low and the grass is not as green as we would like..

Tell me why are the temps still high for this time of year? and certainly around t his area. when its supposed to be winter.. we are a month out from the shortest day and little winter so far.. So really Phil what does this mean for us?

Wet! but no winter ( not here at least)
long summer.. its is not a comforting feeling..?

What is really in store for the Manawatu?

sw on 24/05/2010 10:00am

These are subtropical lows,with an anticyclone far to the south theyre blocking much cold air from Antarctica so are cutoff from that air.

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