It’s been a relatively quiet day across the country as a big storm inches closer to New Zealand. Despite some MetService rain warnings appearing out of date, Philip Duncan is assuring the public that heavy rain is still, in fact, on the way. “There’s a band of torrential rain moving into the North Island’s west coast this afternoon and evening. Northern Taranaki, King country, Waitomo, Waikato and Central Plateau are the regions most exposed to this severe weather”. Duncan says the entire North Island and much of the South Island will, at some stage, receive heavy rain from this system. “It may feel pleasant this afternoon with temperatures in the low to mid 20’s but the air behind this system is cold and is creating explosive rain bands that will develop quickly tonight”
The Radio Network’s Weather Watch Centre has spent the afternoon in close contact with our 30 reporters across the country and most have reported calm, humid and drizzly conditions, which Duncan says is typical after a warm front has passed. However in the past 30 minutes Whangarei reporter, Amanda Dyke, has reported that heavy rain is now falling in the north.
TRN’s weather partner weather.com is predicting “Heavy thunderstorms” from New Plymouth down to Nelson this evening. “Motorists across the North Island and western and northern parts of the South Island should take extreme care and avoid driving after dark if possible”.
Philip Duncan says there is a “very real chance” of surface and flash flooding from this system. “Amongst these severe down bursts there could be small tornadoes, hail and lightning and while isolated and rare, they can be deadly”.
Duncan says the areas most exposed to the violent weather are those that face north and west across both islands. “On a positive note, this will definitely end any remaining droughts”.
Tomorrow the centre of the storm is expected to cross Central New Zealand making for another 24 hours of unpleasant weather for many as it fires further cold fronts over the country, mostly the North Island. The South Island will see a drop in temperatures tomorrow thanks to a southerly.