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Second sub-tropical low causes minor flooding, wind damage

Updated 10:32pm —  As exclusively predicted by yesterday gale force winds have impacted some parts of the North Island tonight.

But while the gales were predicted by WeatherWatch the strength of the wind has been higher for some areas and much lower for others.

“The low didn’t quite get enough oomph to push gales across Auckland, where conditions have been fairly calm today, however strong to damaging gusts have occurred in the eastern Waikato, Coromandel Peninsula, western Bay of Plenty and Rotorua this evening with blustery winds in some coastal parts of Northland” says head weather analyst Philip Duncan.  “We did expect gales but weren’t expecting them to cause very much damage”.’s Facebook page has had dozens of comments from readers tonight with reports of trees down, power cuts and surges and suggestions of a rough nights sleep ahead.

“The strongest gusts are in places like Te Aroha, in the eastern Waikato, Mount Maunganui, Rotorua and Levin” says Mr Duncan, pointing out that the geography of the North Island ranges is playing a major role in why some areas have gales and some regions in between are calm.

Rain cleared in Auckland around 9pm following several hours of tropical downpours.  Northland also received heavy rain south of Whangarei. readers reported surface flooding right across Auckland city, made worse by a saturated ground from Monday’s deluge.  However criteria wasn’t met for MetService to issue a rain warning.

No wind warnings have been issued by MetService either.  At the time of this story no ‘watch’ was in place for gales.  A ‘Watch’ basically means the right ingredients are there for a warning soon.  A ‘Warning’ means the severe weather is expected now or very soon.

The low rushed out of the tropics on Wednesday and will clear the country overnight tonight and across Thursday morning in the lower North Island/upper South Island..

Earlier update

In Auckland the torrential rain started around late afternoon and continued solidly in some areas for five hours.

Mr Duncan says he is surprised a rain warning hasn’t been issued for Auckland in light of the heavy rain  that fell on Monday, even though rain totals were likely to be less than 50mm.

Meanwhile in Bay of Plenty, Coromandel Peninsula and eastern Waikato strong winds appear to be causing power surges according to comments posted on our Facebook page.

Earlier Story (5:30pm)

Yesterday said that heavy rain would again return to Northland and Auckland although the two regions were on the edge of the rain band.  Despite no rain warnings in place for either of those two regions today there are large areas of heavy rain currently moving in between Whangarei and Auckland. doesn’t expect major problems but says slips and flooding are possible.

“The old low from Monday is lying just to the west of Northland and is helping pull this new rain band slightly westward towards central and southern parts of Northland and northern parts of Auckland” says head weather analyst Philip Duncan.  “While it’s clear the bulk of the rain will affect Bay of Plenty, Coromandel and East Cape we cannot rule out surface flooding and the odd slip this evening in some parts of Auckland, mostly north of the city, and in Northland south of Whangarei”.

But Mr Duncan says patches of blue sky and sunshine have already moved into Kaeo in the past few minutes – the small Northland town worst hit by flooding on Monday.  Mr Duncan says it’s a sign that the front has already started to clear the Far North. 

Conditions will improve for the upper North Island on Thursday with the next burst of sub-tropical rain expected later on Saturday.

Meanwhile the lower South Island has hardly had a mention lately – despite having some of the best weather in the country in recent days.  Temperatures have been mild with plenty of sun.   But unsettled weather is also expected across the deep south, starting on Thursday, with a cold change moving in on Sunday.



Guest on 21/03/2012 7:56am

we are in the coromandel with massive winds and a lot of rain with power outages…..
Fire brigade call outs for fallen trees and flooding…funny that none of this was predicted…at least your site had more information than metservice !!!!

WW Forecast Team on 21/03/2012 7:58am

Thanks for the update – we predicted the strong to gale force winds and heavy rain for Coromandel yesterday – and sent press releases to the media around noon.  Sounds like a rough night – thanks very much for the info, it’s really helpful – keep safe!

– WW

westcoast on 21/03/2012 6:33pm

re met service,due to the fast moving nature, the rain totals did not get to the threshold for a rain warning
also wind warnings are for gusts to 110 to 120kmh inland , i.e severe gale, I doubt many places would have reached that criteria as well. There was marine warnings in place for the coromandel and BOP though

Guest on 21/03/2012 5:13am

I feel like I’m back home in England!!!

Derek on 21/03/2012 4:26am

Not another one coming for Saturday Phil..heck it’s not good is it.

Guest on 21/03/2012 2:50am

Just heard Richard on the radio talking about this. Gosh it sure is full on weather.Thanks for the radio report and I always listen to MoreFM!
Good work Weatherwatch.


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