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Winter kicks off with rain, thunder & gales

UPDATED

Today is the first day of winter in New Zealand and it’s kicking off with heavy rain, thunderstorms and rain warnings.

Heavy rain has pounded the upper North Island with rainfall amounts of over 60mm being reported to WeatherWatch.co.nz.

Torrential rain has caused plenty of surface flooding in Auckland late this morning.

The rain is heading south, with rain warnings now in force for the eastern Waikato’s Kaimai Ranges.

Strong winds have buffeted Te Aroha this morning but winds will ease quickly this afternoon.,

The large low, which has two or three weak centres, will continue to move southwards today bringing heavy rain to the North Island – and just like the low last week this one is going to also swing around and deliver even more heavy rain to the nation’s east coast – from Canterbury northwards.

WeatherWatch.co.nz says it spells bad news for people already affected by flooding.  Head weather analyst Philip Duncan says the rain is targeting most of the same regions hit by flooding last week.  “Last week it looked like western areas would be exposed to this system but now it’s very clear northern and eastern areas are agaion in the firing line”.

“Coromandel, Bay of Plenty, East Cape, Rotorua, Hawkes Bay, Wellington and Canterbury, all affected by last weeks torrential rain will again be seeing it from this new system”.

Mr Duncan says rain warnings may be issued for the South Island today.

MetService has moderate confidence of issuing rain warnings for Canterbury and Wairarapa for Wednesday.

WeatherWatch.co.nz is also predicting a few thunderstorms today.

And this isn’t the end of it – WeatherWatch.co.nz is now predicting a sixth low pressure system to form north of New Zealand during Queens Birthday Weekend.  “This one, at this early stage, looks as though it may only bring in rain to Northland and a few showers to northern centres, but it shows what very much looks like a La Nina weather pattern forming, backing up NIWA’s prediction that winter should be warmer this year”.

Comments

Guest on 1/06/2010 12:42am

Just had a rather hair raising trip coming into Te Aroha ~ took me all my strength to keep the car on the road.

Rather scary, thank goodness arrived home in one piece. Gales must be exceeding 120km.hr.

Monika

Em on 1/06/2010 1:57am

Yea I agree, certainly been an indoorsy type morning in Te Aroha! Not blowing so hard now, though theres still the odd gust that shakes the house to bits.

sw on 1/06/2010 12:02am

Overcast heaving down,lighter winds now varying between SSW and E.
More heavier rain than in the last series of lows.

AndyH on 31/05/2010 11:57pm

It rained all night in Tairua, and when I left for work in Thames at 8 this morning it was absolutely torrential. Now we (Coromandel FM) are getting reports of major flooding in parts of the township, SH25 being cut off south of the town towards Hikuai, and slips over Pumpkin Hill to the north. Pretty bad by the sounds of it!

Craig on 31/05/2010 11:10pm

Hi Phil,

I see the large swath of cloud from the north of NZ is dropping south quickly, is this what was predicted, and is it likely to merge with the current low system? I thought it would do the ‘normal’ thing of sliding away to the south east.
Would be nice to hear your take on this.

Cheers.

WW Forecast Team on 1/06/2010 12:06am

Hi Craig

That cloud is part of the jet stream – very high altitidude fast moving air.  It’s not a big low that will suddenly drop down – but it is helping feed the low that we have over us now.  Quite a common set up, a low over northern NZ and big clouds link us to the tropics.  Looks worse than it is.

Cheers

Phil

Craig on 1/06/2010 12:24am

Aha, thanks for the info. I’ve obviously been looking at too many 2d maps and forgetting about that darn 3rd dimension 😉

Rob on 31/05/2010 10:23pm

60 mm in Kaitaia since 6 oclock last night.

Laura on 31/05/2010 9:52pm

After a few glorious days – very lovely, we’ve just had 48mm of rain since last night !
Some very heavy showers.

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