Storm continues to develop, weather quiet so far

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Residents in the North Island and upper South Island are continuing to wait for the strong winds this evening as a storm over the Tasman Sea continues to develop - but the rain has already begun to fall.

Latest rain radar images show rain spreading across many parts of the North Island and western parts of the South Island.  Light spits of rain are being reported in other regions, including Auckland.

In the past few hours satellite images have started to show evidence of rotation over the Tasman Sea and according to the latest computer model runs the low is still predicted to rapidly deepen over the coming hours. head weather analyst Philip Duncan says the low will still be deepening as it passes over the country on Saturday.

"Every data update I've seen over the past couple of days has shown this low deepening further and shifting further south.  This may spare the far north from the worst but will likely mean rougher weather for central New Zealand".

Mr Duncan told Newstalk ZB's Larry Williams a short time ago that people need to be aware this system is fast and potent.  He told Larry Williams that many main centres aren't built in wind tunnels, apart from Wellington, but that certain parts of each region could be hit by severe gales. 

"In Auckland, for example, we may see winds of 150km/h on the Manukau Heads but perhaps only 80km/h in some suburbs".  

"With New Zealand's hilly terrain it can mean certain wind directions will bring sheltered weather for some people while over the hill winds may be damaging with torrential rain".

MetService says the winds could be "destructive" and are issuing similar storm statements. predicts the storm will travel very quickly across the country and not linger like many other lows do.  Most areas will have around 24 hours of windy weather, others will have even less.

The worst weather is likely to linger for both Saturday and Sunday in places like Wellington, Wairarapa, Hawkes Bay and Gisborne and also the upper north eastern corner of the South Island, although Sunday is still expected to see a gradual improvement. readers have been steadily reporting a slow drop in air pressure this afternoon and clouds have started to thicken with rain moving in to more areas.

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