Flood waters return to Northland.
There are serious concerns for widespread flooding, and wind damage as a depression – as large as the Tasman Sea – spreads on to New Zealand.
Reports of some flooding are already coming in from Whangarei, several hours before the heaviest rain arrives. Head Weather Analyst Philip Duncan says the storm is starting to take shape and it’s posing a more serious threat than originally thought.
“This definitely poses a serious threat to lives, property and travel plans”.
“While the centre of this storm isn’t as intense as the weekend’s storm the damage will be far more widespread and will impact most New Zealanders in some way” says Philip Duncan. “Anyone who lives near streams or areas that are flood prone must take action now to protect their properties and themselves”.
Mr Duncan says severe winds are again likely across the eastern Waikato. “There is the potential for gusts to reach hurricane force again and with the winds coming from a slightly different direction to the weekend’s storm, further damage is likely”.
Civil Defence Waikato is warning motorists to avoid travelling during the storm.
MetService has issued an incredible 25 weather warnings today. They can be found at www.newstalkzb.co.nz and click on the Weather button.
“This storm will be a bigger event than Saturday’s storm with so many people affected by it”.
But Mr Duncan says it’s the top half of the North Island that should be most concerned today. “Following the heavy rain recently the soil is already saturated across Northland, Waikato and Coromandel. It won’t take much extra rain to flood streams and rivers. This is very serious”.
“This system has all the hallmarks of a major rain storm – the air pressure will be low, it’s slow moving and it’s being fed by saturated air in the sub-tropics”.
At 11am heavy rain was moving into Whangarei and falls were spreading as far south as Auckland. “The worst for the north will be overnight tonight, with gales and torrential rain, then it will head southwards”.
The low is expected to slowly track southwards along the west coast deepening significantly by noon Wednesday and creating a central area of low pressure as wide as the North Island. “Winds are always much lighter in the centre of a storm so winds will ease quickly tomorrow over the top half of the North Island however those gales will then spread southwards across the lower North Island and upper South Island during Wednesday”.
“The back end of the storm with see a return to strong to gale force winds over northern New Zealand later on Wednesday or into Thursday”.
Heavy rain is also expected to develop on Wednesday across Nelson, Marlborough and Canterbury, turning to snow in the mountains. “The South Island will be very cold this week with south easterlies continuing. Day time highs will be lucky to get into double digits”
The Weather Watch Centre will closely monitor the storm over the coming days with the latest from our Weather Watch reporters across the country and expert opinion from our weather analysts Philip Duncan and Richard Green.
on 29/07/2008 2:39am
we’ve just driven up from Whangarei to the Bay of Islands and it’s not too bad now. There is no road flooding, however the water is close ish to the road as you leave Kawakawa (going north). There are still lots of fields that look like lakes, though which isn’t really good news if the really heavy rain comes.
on 29/07/2008 12:57am
Rain has stopped in Whangarei – all quiet now. Many businesses have closed for the afternoon.
on 28/07/2008 9:12pm
thanks for the continued updates, being a fellow weather enthusiast, I personally really enjoy all things weather related (mostly thunderstorms though!) and news about it.
I do have a question/suggestion for your site. I frequently check it several times a day (especially on the busier days) and I notice your articles get continuously updated. Sometimes, it’s hard to see what exactly was updated. Perhaps, instead of just adding a new article, add an update at the bottom with a new timestamp? If you have a look at other blogging sites, they do similar things. Have a look here at engadget: http://www.engadget.com/2008/07/19/iphone-dev-team-unleashes-pwnage-tool-2-0/
Keep up the great work.
on 28/07/2008 9:51pm
I was just discussing this with a colleague of mine yesterday. Will endeavour to make the updates a little clearer…sometimes we’ll fine tune a few words here and there (removing "currently" to "earlier today" for example). The main updates are usually placed at the lead of the story.
Thanks again for the tip – will see how we go!
on 29/07/2008 2:25am
A lot of folk very worried.
Metservice server is overloaded, just try to access and will see what I mean.
Been like that since very early this morning…….
on 29/07/2008 4:38am
Yes the Metservice site is very frustrating. You would think they could increase their bandwidth especially when so many people need to check their site during bad weather events.