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– Winds not expected to be so severe

– Thunderstorms on the way
The storm expected to bring heavy rain and thunderstorms to northern New Zealand tomorrow is still on the way, although now a few hours later than expected.
Heavy rain was to start falling later tonight but the low hasn’t moved as fast as computer models predicted meaning tonight should be mainly dry.  However tomorrow is a different picture.  Heavy rain should start before sunrise in Northland reaching Auckland and Coromandel later in the morning.  Accompanying the rain will be large thunderstorms which could mean some very heavy localised downpours.  “These thunderstorms embedded within the main rain bands could cause localised flash and surface flooding” warns the Radio Network’s head weather analyst Philip Duncan.  “They could make small streams and drains very dangerous within minutes”.    Regions most at risk are eastern Northland and Coromandel Peninsula and northern regions of Auckland.
And heavy rain is not what Northlanders want to hear.  The storm is being fuelled by moist tropical air and MetService warns up to 70mm could fall, while up to 120mm during Sunday for Coromandel Peninsula.
The main rain band is expected to lie over eastern Bay of Plenty and looping over Wellington and Wesport by tomorrow night. is predicting a 90% chance of heavy rain and thunderstorms in Auckland tomorrow and they’re predicting over 30mm for the city in a relatively short time, while MetService warns up to 60mm could fall in some parts of northern and eastern Auckland.
But Duncan says because the storm is following a slightly different path now, he expects winds to not be as severe.  “Yesterday forecasters were warning of gales for northern parts of the country, however because the low will slide down NZ well off the west coast, the severe gales will be mainly out at sea.  It’s possible winds will reach gale force briefly but it’s not looking too severe at this stage”.
Duncan says winds were gusting to 100km/h at Cape Reinga at 6pm but elsewhere they “weren’t even close” to gale force.
The storms current projected path will see it cross Southland on Monday or Tuesday and will deep further.  That means more heavy rain and strong to gale force winds for many areas right up until Wednesday.
        A few showers are now developing in Northland.
        Warmer conditions over Northern NZ are making it feel more like Spring.



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