RAIN is tonight spreading across northern New Zealand and will become heavier during Sunday morning. Patchy rain has been falling during Saturday afternoon and night from Northland to Taranaki.
Wide-angle satellite map (updated hourly). Image/weather.com
Northeasterly winds will pick up overnight and may become gusty at times in some exposed areas of Northland, Auckland but the Weather Watch Centre doesn’t expect them to be strong enough to cause any damage. At 10pm Saturday (NZT) winds were gusting over 80km/h at Cape Reinga but just 40km/h around Auckland.
SUNDAY will be a humid day as the heavy rain moves across the North Island and upper South Island. The low is dragging moist air from the subtropics almost as far north as Fiji.
Rain during Sunday morning may be heavy enough to cause minor surface flooding across northern New Zealand and the Weather Watch Centre advises motorists to drive with care especially between now and noon Sunday. For the latest, live, roading conditions click on the Time Saver Traffic link on the right hand side of this page.
The low pressure system is likely to drench much of the country over the next 3 days. Heavy rain is possible over a number of regions including areas flooded by the rainstorm in late July. Head weather analyst Philip Duncan says the depression covers a large part of the Tasman Sea.
“This low is a large one and does have the potential to cause isolated pockets of minor to moderate flooding across New Zealand. Due to the position of the low saturated air from the sub-tropics is likely to be pulled down over the country and that could produce some pretty heavy falls starting Saturday night and lasting until as late as Tuesday in some places”.
He says the low is quite slow moving due to a blocking high out to the east of the country. He says heaviest falls are likely across northern and western facing parts of Nelson and Taranaki however heavy falls are likely right over much of northern and western parts of New Zealand.
“Sunday appears to be the wettest day over the North Island – it will be the South Island’s turn on Monday and Tuesday as the rain moves in Canterbury and Kaikoura”.
Mr Duncan says the extra rain will be of concern for farmers especially in the Waikato region. “River levels are still running very high, particularly the Waikato river. This heavy rain is bad timing however we’re lucky it didn’t arrive sooner – there has been at least some sort of ‘breather’ period since the flooding in late July”.
The front is also likely to bring heavy rain back in to Canterbury early next week. The farming region is still mopping up from major floods in late July. Government forecaster MetService has issued a severe weather watch for the region with their confidence rated as “high” that rain warnings will be issued for the area between Sunday and Tuesday. The state forecaster has also issued 6 rain warnings – they can be found in the “weather” section at newstalkzb.co.nz.
The Weather Watch Centre will closely monitor this low with updates across the weekend.
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on 23/08/2008 11:11am
Took a trip to Waihi today and saw first hand just how high the flood water had been in the Karangahaki Gorge. We saw a lot of debris in the tree branches, well above the level of the road in some places, and there was lots of damage from slips along the riverbank too.
Rivers through the Hauraki plains are still running very high.
Ominous clouds were gathering over the Coromandel ranges late this afternoon and we ran into light rain as we got closer to Bombay.