Driving concerns in both islands
Two weather systems are about to collide over New Zealand and that means severe weather for a number of regions.
The Radio Network’s head weather analyst Philip Duncan says the systems are coming in from each end of the country. “A low near Auckland will slowly move over the North Island tonight, while a cold front bringing Antarctic air will move up the South Island today to reach Central Plateau overnight tonight”. Duncan says as the wet warm air meets the cold southerly it will quickly turn to snow. “The Desert Road is at risk, as is the Napier Taupo highway, the Rimutaka Ranges highway and any farms prone to snow in winter”.
MetService is also warning of heavy snow for the Central Plateau and higher regions of Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne ranges.
“Sunday morning is when the snow will start falling in these parts, but it will be preceded by rain, heavy in some areas”. Duncan says thunderstorms are possible from Waikato northwards this afternoon as the low in the Tasman moves directly towards Auckland. The news of heavy rain and showers will not be well received in Northland where many communities are still cleaning up from the major floods 2 weeks ago. “There is the potential for localised flash flooding and further slips in Northland today, and that risk will shift to Napier tonight and tomorrow morning as rain moves in there”.
And it’s not just motorists in the north that should be on alert, drivers in Southland and Central Otago could be in for more black ice, sleet and snow today. “It’s currently around minus 3 to minus 8 across Central Otago and with a front set to bring in some rain that could see black ice forming on roads”. In Invercargill it’s currently 2 degrees with rain. Snow may also fall in Queenstown today.
So will it rain for tonight’s big rugby test? “Well that’s about as close to pick as which team will win. At this stage it appears the main band of rain should’ve cleared the region, however there’s a 60% chance of heavy showers and there may even be a flash of lightening”. Conditions are expected to be mild with a temperature around 11 or 12 degrees for the game with low cloud above and almost no wind.