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Tropical rain storm could halt droughts
Bullet points:
– Huge area of low pressure engulfing all of New Zealand this weekend.
– Saturated air being dragged down from the tropics, just south of Papua New Guinea
– “Heavy Rain” expected right across New Zealand
– Rain should be heavy enough to saturate soil on dry farms.
– Flooding a possibility.
A tropical rain storm is this weekend expected soak the entire country as saturated air is sucked down from the Coral Sea, south of Papua New Guinea.  The Radio Network’s Head Weather Analyst, Philip Duncan, says rainfall amounts could be significant.  “With a blocking high to the east and west of New Zealand, this tropical low will slide down the middle directly over New Zealand.  I think we’re really going to be in for a drenching”.
Regions that face north are expected to cop the heaviest rain, such as Nelson, Marlborough, Manawatu, Taranaki and South Waikato., which provide forecasts right across New Zealand, is predicting a 90% chance of “Heavy rain” across Waikato on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning.  “This could really be what all the farmers have been waiting for.  A decent rainfall that will not only make the grass green, but soak deep into the ground”.   Duncan says drizzle and light showers are expected to develop overnight Friday and Saturday morning, increasing the soils ability to absorb moisture.
Heavy rain is also expected across dry farms in Wairarapa and Hawkes Bay thanks to another low forming near the Chatham Islands.  “This will suck rain clouds up from a south easterly direction – really the entire country will receive rain from all angles”.   
And there’s good news for farmers in Southland with rain developing today (Friday) and becoming heavier over Saturday and Sunday.   Some rain is also expected across Canterbury on Saturday morning.
MetService is also keeping a close eye on the big system, issuing rain warnings for the South Island’s west coast and indicating a number more may be issued over the North Island. 
Flooding across both islands is a possibility, especially in the hills and TRN’s Weather Watch Centre says people should “avoid the outdoors this weekend”.
Strong winds, possibly severe gale, could also affect Southland, Central New Zealand and the Far North.  “With high pressure on both sides of the country and a deep low over New Zealand, the air will be squeezed across us.  It’s going to be a windy, wet, weekend for many”.
Another low is expected to form north of Northland on Monday, creating more strong winds over Northland, Auckland and East Cape early next week.



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