– GALES FOR NORTHERN NZ
– RAIN FOR DROUGHT STRICKEN WAIKATO
A sub tropical low is today deepening as it moves near northern New Zealand and is expected to bring some rough weather to the top half of the North Island, including rain for Waikato farms. The Radio Network’s head weather analyst Philip Duncan says the low is pulling saturated air down from the tropics and the rain predictions for Waikato have been “consistent” for days. “We are expecting to see rain move down Northland later today or tonight reaching Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty during Monday and Tuesday. Our forecast models have been consistent for days that rain is likely right across the Waikato region”. But he’s quick to point out that it’s unlikely to be a dourght breaker. “While 24 to 36 hours of good rain would be a huge help, Waikato really needs several days of solid rain. It needs to be absorbed deep into the ground to have any significant effect. This is certainly a good start though and I’ve been stating since January that April would see a return to wetter weather for northern New Zealand”.
But rain isn’t the only weather in the forecast. Strong winds, already blasting Cape Reinga at 100km/h and Auckland Harbour at 80km/h, are expected to increase over the next 24 hours. “The low that’s deepening in the north will push against a large high moving south east over the rest of the country, this puts northern New Zealand in the ‘squash zone’ and gales are likely in many exposed areas along the east coast. Travellers driving on State Highway 26 between Thames and Te Aroha should also take care over the next 48 hours as gusts near the Kaimai Ranges could reach hurricane force”.
Duncan says everything is very slow moving and it’s still hard to pinpoint exactly which regions will be worst hit, however he says “It’s more than likely that Northland, Coromandel Peninsula and some parts of Bay of Plenty will see the most rain, with the strongest winds in Northland, Auckland and eastern Waikato”.