A large low, engulfing much of the Tasman Sea, is today churning out large showers, some with thunderstorms, which will this afternoon and across the weekend move over New Zealand – mainly northern and western parts of the North Island.
The low is a perfect circle and is currently only moving very slowly towards New Zealand.
The angle of the rain bands, along with the shape of the North Island means Northland and Taranaki are getting showers but the wet stuff hasn’t yet made it Auckland.
See the MetService Thunderstorm Outlook here
Head weather analyst at WeatherWatch.co.nz, Philip Duncan, says as the low moves closer, the rain bands will spread further east. “As you can see by our weather map the low is a perfect circle and is currently clipping northern parts of Northland, Taranaki and the South Island’s West Coast. As the low drifts east those showers will spread further east too”.
It is the first large low of its kind in New Zealand so far this year.
Mr Duncan says as many as 7000 lightning strikes have been detected out in the Tasman Sea today. Last night thunderstorms affected Taranaki and Northland with reports of lightning also coming in from Nelson and Auckland. Auckland didn’t receive any rain, mainly put down to the rain bands weakening as they moved down Northland and also with Auckland being significantly further east than the Far North or New Plymouth.
See the live and free Lightning Tracker here
“As this low moves in across the weekend we can expect unstable conditions with isolated heavy downpours in many areas” off the north and west.
Philip Duncan says while it’s sunny for many places at the moment the big rain clouds are just a few hundred kilometres offshore and are closing in. “This rain band is much bigger than the one that brought heavy showers to Northland last night. This should give all places, including Auckland, some heavy shower activity either this afternoon, tonight or during Saturday and Sunday”.
“We have had reports of some Northland farms up in the hills receiving over 200mm of rain from the recent event while lower down areas have had well over 80mm. The next 36 hours should see 20 to 60mm across a number of areas”.
But Mr Duncan says New Zealand’s largest centre, Auckland, has so far missed out on the biggest downpours. “While the ground is a little damper and the grass is green Auckland is still very dry. It’s unlikely this event will end the drought or water problems across the Auckland region”.
on 14/05/2010 2:21am
We’ve been basking in warm temps and sunshine for most of the day here in Toe-ranga. I’m trying to not get too excited about the thunderstorm forecast, as usually the forecast never comes true.
Do you personally reckon there is a real chance of thunderstorms here as predicted? Please say yes 😉
on 14/05/2010 2:29am
At this stage it looks likely that there will be some lightning…thunder not so sure about (as it would mean the thunderstorm would have to be near you)…so far this system looks very fragmented. We shall see! Will have a much better idea by this evening once the low is a little closer.
on 13/05/2010 11:07pm
Hey Guys just letting you know that the North Shore Auckland Northcote as of 7pm last night we’ve had 11mm this month….. when i add up years total at end of year I am around a few mm from Aucklands official Total so my station is pretty good…..
I hope the Shore Rattles this afternoon….. Thanks
on 14/05/2010 12:09am
Yeah we have had 13.2 here in torbay this month.
I wouldn’t worry about comparing yourself to other stations , so much weather is localized in auckland it seems, even on the shore it can be absolutely bucketing down in one part and dry in another.
I bet as usual not much will fall in auckland, I am already seeing the rain forecasts for auckland get smaller and smaller….though I’d love to be proven wrong…
on 14/05/2010 12:14am
Just watching the rain radar and again that invisible force field is seeing the rain clouds "fizzle" as they approach Auckland. However as the centre of the low gets closer to Auckland the showers will have more grunt.
on 14/05/2010 12:29am
Though I love to see a good downpour now and then along with a good electrical storm as a city dweller I and I am sure plenty of others are appreciating this weather we are having warm and dry.. It is great still be able to wear a t-shirt at this time of year and not having to take an umbrella everywhere.
I feel for the farmers though but hopefully your predictions are correct and northland get some more..
Great site, really glad I found it, nice having updates and hearing others talk.
on 13/05/2010 10:55pm
your title a bit misleading? Auckland is in a drought however in your article you have stated “While the ground is a little damper and the grass is green Auckland is still very dry. It’s unlikely this event will end the drought or water problems across the Auckland region”.
on 13/05/2010 11:19pm
No we believe most drought regions will feel significant relief from this entire event when it’s finished, the areas that are most affected by drought being the farming communities. We think those farming communities, some of which have had up to 200mm of rain in the past 6 days, will be back in to grass growing conditions now.
The main thrust of this story is for those farming regions currently affected by drought and not Auckland – most city dwelling folk aren’t affected by the drought unless they rely on tank water.
Apologies if you find the headline misleading – certainly wasn’t meant to be.
on 13/05/2010 11:23pm
We are on tank water & have land so its very disappointing to read that Auckland isn’t going to get what we need to break the drought. Its been a very tough year so far!