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Yet another sub-tropical low on the way

If New Zealanders were concerned about water shortages it appears that problem will fast be out the door as yet another low, the fourth sub-tropical low in a matter of weeks, eyes up the country, reports

A major rainstorm is today continuing to dump torrential rain north over Coromandel Peninsula, Bay of Plenty, East Cape and Canterbury.

18 Rain Warnings are currently in force – they can be found here.

Tomorrow the large low will move from the Tasman Sea across central New Zealand.  Head weather analyst Philip Duncan says the centre of the low is extremely large and means central areas will be relatively calm tomorrow.  “We often hear about conditions in the eye of the storm being calm and that is the case tomorrow.  The centre of this storm is calm and relatively rain free.  It will move over the lower North Island easing conditions there but bringing severe weather to both ends of the country”.

Mr Duncan says it’s a typical clockwise set up.  “In the north it will be western areas pounded by a gale westerly in the afternoon and heavy showers, many squally with thunderstorms while in the south it will be easterlies driving in torrential rain to Canterbury and Otago”.

He says thunderstorms in western areas between Taranaki and Northland, near the coast, may be severe in the afternoon.  “This is a set up we’ve seen many times before and comes with the usual risk of hail, gusts over 100km/h and a chance of isolated waterspouts and tornados”.

MetService is also predicting thunderstorms, saying there’s a “moderate risk” of “severe” thunderstorms about western Waikato and western Auckland tomorrow afternoon and a moderate risk of lower grade thunderstorms from Taranaki to Northland. says that gale force winds will also affect the lower south west quadrant of the South Island during Wednesday.

However is now concerned about another low appearing in the computer models for the end of the week, predicting yet another burst of heavy rain for northern New Zealand.

“It’s likely to track over the North Island during Thursday and Friday then deepen further near East Cape into the weekend, driving in heavy rain to eastern areas” says Mr Duncan.  “Flooding and slips will certainly be possible especially following today’s deluge”.

MetService has today also showed concern about the 4th sub-tropical low, mentioning it in their Severe Weather Outlook with moderate confidence of rain warnings being issued for northern and north eastern parts of the North Island at the end of the week.


Robert on 24/05/2010 9:30am

Will the Manawatu get this or is this another slide show? very little in our area of Feilding and Palmy.. just drizzle.. and we have no winds. its not too cold either.. what will it be folks a fizz

WW Forecast Team on 24/05/2010 9:34am

Hi Robert – we just replied to your previous comment in the other story.

– Cheers, WW

Guest on 24/05/2010 5:04am

“MetService is also predicting thunderstorms, saying there’s a “moderate risk” of “severe” thunderstorms about western Waikato and western Auckland tomorrow afternoon” —would that also be kaukapakapa area? the winds and rain here today were almost non-existent!

WW Forecast Team on 24/05/2010 5:19am

Yep, certainly includes your area. 

WeatherWatch completely downscaled wind predictions for Auckland region last night and again this morning.  Tomorrow afternoon and Wednesday look much windier.


– WW

Guest on 24/05/2010 6:18am

Hey Phil, Hows Queenstown looking after recent rains there Lake Wakatipu would need to be watched again , especially if the predicted rain falls . One Network News says that this storm is the worst ever rain event for the south is this true ? or just media hype .
cheers Daniel

WW Forecast Team on 24/05/2010 7:00am

Hi Daniel,

Apparently the warnings for North Otago, if they come true, will be record breakers.

As far as Queenstown goes I would think this rain will be too far north east to really impact the lake levels.  It needs to fall in the headwaters to really make a difference and at this stage that doesn’t seem to be the case.

– WW

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