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Rainstorm easing for some

2pm Update

Rain is clearing from Northland and Auckland – but heavy rain remains across much of the North Island this afternoon.  Image /


This will be the last update on this link for this event.  For any further updates on the rainstorm this evening simply go to our homepage.

Torrential rain has fallen across the country today causing surface flooding, a string of car accidents, rain fade with satellite feeds and causing problems with a burst sewerage pipe in Wellington.

Around noon the large band of rain began to ease across Auckland and Northland with smaller rain bands moving in this afternoon.  “There will be dry or drizzly patches followed by brief periods of heavy rain or showers – however conditions are easing in the north”.

As of 2pm 27 rain warnings remained in place with just Southland, Fiordland, Wanganui, Hawkes Bay and Gisborne remaining free of weather warnings.

Mr Duncan says the low is now more intense than it was when it was a category 1 cyclone with air pressure falling into the 980hPa range.

This morning new rain warnings were issued by government weather forecaster MetService to include parts of Canterbury and Otago. Reports of surface flooding have come in from Christchurch city today.  Conditions in Christchurch have eased significantly already with expecting showers and drizzle to continue for the next day or two.

Mr Duncan says the low has tapped into a saturated pool of tropical air and is feeding it down over the North Island.

Despite conditions easing in northern New Zealand Mr Duncan says unstable weather means people should avoid streams and rivers.  “Isolated heavy downpours are more likely this afternoon which may cause localised flash flooding”. 

Central areas of the North Island, including Bay of Plenty, are likely to see heavy rain for much of the afternoon, especially eastern areas. 

 For a full list of the rain warnings click here.

The rainstorm, previously a weak category 1 tropical cyclone called Innis near New Caledonia, combined with an area of low pressure in the Tasman Sea during Thursday – a low that was associated with the widespread floods across Queensland.  “They’re all linked together which is why we’re paying so much attention to this system.  It has the possibility to flood rivers here”.

“We’re not telling people to panic, we’re asking people to just be aware of their surroundings and to ensure they understand what this storm is capable of doing” says Duncan.

MetService has dropped their warnings of weak tornadoes in the north for this afternoon.

What happens next?

Winds will pick up from Wellington southwards over the weekend but nothing severe is likely.  The lows centre will slowly track along the Fiordland coastline bringing heavy rain to the West Coast.  Those planning to be outdoors in the South Island’s west coast this weekend are advised to be up to date with the latest rain warnings as more may be issued for Saturday.

Very high seas and dangerous waves are also expected along the West Coast.

The low will move away by Monday, replaced by a high in the north.  The next low looks set to move in from the south west next week mainly affecting the lower South Island.

Send us your photos!

We want to see your rain photos…flooding creeks, streams or rivers, surface flooding – or just you outside in the wet stuff!  Send them in by using the Upload Your Photos link.

REGULAR UPDATES – will be updating regularly throughout today, be sure to check back for updates.


Grant on 20/02/2009 2:08am

What is the weather prediction for tonight, especially around the Mount Wellington / Mount smart Stadium area, where the Iron Maiden Concert is being played!


Cheers, G

WW Forecast Team on 20/02/2009 2:13am

Hi Grant,

Well touch wood that the skies overhead should begin to lighten and dry up for the concert tonight. It should be pretty warm still and there’s a chance that you might see a ray of sunshine before it sets tonight but by then you probably wont be worrying about the weather!!!

Enjoy your night


Richard Green

Glenys on 20/02/2009 12:48am


Sitting here at work at Mount Maunganui and man it is really windy… Some rain as well, can you please let us know if it is going to get any worse???

WW Forecast Team on 20/02/2009 1:43am

Hi Glenys,

Shouldn’t get any worse – but could be some isolated pockets of severe weather (sudden downbursts).  Overall it’s clearing though…just a couple more hours before everything starts to ease from Waikato/BoP northwards. 


Philip Duncan

Derek on 20/02/2009 12:06am

Here in Whangarei in my posi it’s 23deg and 88% humidity, been raining for hours through the night but has eased up quite a bit during the morning. Nothing out of the ordinary for us here but very sticky. Temp did not drop below 20 in our location over night.

Am not too happy about this La Nina pattern setting in, does us up here no favours, reason for a bad summer last year compared with everywhere else. Also could mean more cyclones or tropical lows to finish our great summer off.

But that’s the weather for you, just have to be prepared for it.

Great system you have going with all the updates and local weather patterns, thanks.

Ani on 19/02/2009 11:47pm

Hi guys,

Never knew this page existed, but its great to know and see we can catch up on the weather…. Im working in Manukau City and it was pouring down outr here from about 8.30am this morning and started to ease fro 12 noon…. its just drizzling now, but wouldnt under estimate it at this moment… But yeah thats the weather out these ways.


P.S um whats this about little tornadoes thru auckland or might i say you guys said Weak tornadoes???

WW Forecast Team on 20/02/2009 12:02am

Hi Ani,

Welcome to our site!  As we said to poster below we’ve only been around since late June last year – so please tell all your friends and workmates about us!

Looks like the worst of the rain is over…more likely to see long dry patches (or drizzle patches as you said) then get sudden heavy downbursts. 

MetService believe these heavy downbursts may cause weak tornadoes…they’re the smallest tornado you can get, classified as an F0 (out of 5).   While a possibility they are very isolated – if they happen at all.


The Weather Watch team

Gavin on 19/02/2009 11:28pm

What’s the outlook for the Coromandel/Whitianga over Saturday and Sunday?
Auckland Mini Car club is doing it’s annual run from Auckland to Coromandel Town then across to Cooks Beach and as we know Mini’s don’t like deep puddles. Hell, our bottoms are only just off the ground LOL.

WW Forecast Team on 19/02/2009 11:58pm

Heavy rain tonight, easing tomorrow with sunny spells developing.  Few showers about and westerly winds picking up, especially in the east, showers more likely inland and about the west.

Hopefully the big puddles will be gone by late morning!!  Good luck.

Weather Watch

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