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Twin lows may cause double trouble

Developing Story

Double trouble for the School Holidays – twin lows in the sub-tropics means some indoors days for the kids. Image: MetService

Twin lows in the sub-tropics means parents are scrambling to find things to do with the kids this week following a month and half of almost bone dry weather.

The lows from the sub-tropics are set to bring rain to many areas in the North Island with the possibility of flooding in some rural areas.

Most exposed today and tomorrow will be northern and eastern parts of the North Island, possibly shifting to northern and western parts when the second low moves through later in the week.

As expected by the Weather Watch Centre 3 rain warnings have been issued by government forecaster MetService.  As of 7:30am rain warnings had been issued for Coromandel Peninsula, Gisborne and northern Hawkes Bay.  You can find all MetService current warnings here.

Head weather analyst Philip Duncan says hopefully the rain isn’t too heavy and will reverse the drought-like trends.  “Water tanks have been running dry, farms drying out, cracks forming in the ground – it’s hard to believe we’re more than half way through Autumn with dry weather like this…we need this rain so long as it isn’t too heavy”.

“The two lows may make the second week of the holidays challenging but to others it’s definitely welcome”.

Mr Duncan says streams and rivers may rise quickly from Northland to the Gisborne region during Monday or Tuesday.  “Catchment areas for waterways up in the hills and mountains could receive torrential rain – some streams may rise very quickly”. first predicted the low early last week and the website says computer models have been consistent for 5 days now.

The second low around Thursday looks as though it may be more intense but perhaps a little further offshore.  It is likely to track down the central or eastern Tasman Sea close to NZ but possibly not making landfall. will be tracking the low very closely with regular updates on the site all week.

“We have high confidence of rain off and on for the next 5 days however these lows are very slow moving and therefore timing will be everything.  If the low slows down, even by a small amount, it could be the difference between 24 hours of torrential rain or 24 hours of dry cloudy weather”.

Wednesday should be a mostly dry day for many.

As of 7:30am rain was easing in northern parts of Northland with predictions by Weather Watch analysts that rain will ease in Auckland later this afternoon or evening then further south overnight and tomorrow morning.

Strong winds are also expected although the wind isn’t likely to be damaging at this stage. Gales around the Hauraki Gulf are likely with gusty conditions along the western sides of the Kaimai Ranges.  The second low is more intense but if it stays well offshore in the Tasman then we expect no wind damage from that either.  Check back here for updates during the week.

Meanwhile a ridge of high pressure moving in from the Tasman Sea will help bring strong winds to the North Island but protect the South Island from rain and wind.  Mostly settled weather should prevail in the south and as of 7:30am the satellite map clearly shows the South Island while the North Island is draped under thick cloud.


SW on 20/04/2009 3:10am

Were back into the “real world” weather now.

Derek on 20/04/2009 12:32am

Hi WW, The rain has certainly stopped in Whangarei, quite early this morning actually and there has been none since. It looks all quite dry at the moment, albeit a greyish but bright cloudy sky, some sun peaking through as well. Very humid with Temp of 22 and 76% humidity on my weather station.

I guess from your reports that more is to come but what we have had certainly gave the garden a good drink, very pleasant day out there right now.

Great work from the WW team, thanks.

Te Aroha on 19/04/2009 7:19am

Hi Weather Watch,
How strong do you think the winds will be in te aroha the maps on 3 news show quite a lean from the SE which is one of our worst directions for wind
Te Aroha

WW Forecast Team on 19/04/2009 8:31am


Te Aroha is a funny place in that SE winds can be sheltered for some, worse for others.  Usually a NE is the worst, E second worst and SE third worst. 

We don’t anticipate any serious damage to the town of Te Aroha at this point in time.  Check back during Monday to see our thoughts on the Eastern Waikato as this system is slow moving and definitely still evolving.

As with all strong sub-tropical easterlies we’ll always mention the eastern Waikato and specifically Te Aroha, Thames and the Hauraki Gulf.


The Weather Watch team

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