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Heavy rain fell in parts of Canterbury overnight causing some surface flooding to streets in Christchurch
The Radio Network’s South Island weather analyst Richard Green says around 9 oclock last night the rain set in with the heaviest falls between 10pm and 2am
He says further south, rain is expected to be an issue for Dunedin and other parts of Eastern Otago
“It appears though that not too many skifields will benefit from this system as the freezing level is between 1200-1800 metres for many areas”
And heavy showers are forecast again today for northern regions.  Bands of heavy showers are expected to come in for the next 72 hours with long sunny breaks in between.



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A band of heavy thunderstorms is shortly about to move into Auckland, Waiheke Island, Northern and later Eastern Waikato, the Hauraki Plains and l Coromandel.
“There could be surface flooding on roads and for swollen streams the extra rain could cause some flash flooding” says head weather analyst Philip Duncan
The weather should clear quickly in Auckland this afternoon and elsewhere by late afternoon.



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- Incredible downpours from embedded thunderstorms
- Streams and rivers made dangerous
- Storm heading east and south


Torrential rain has caused a number of flash floods over many parts of the Hauraki Plains and both northern and eastern Waikato this afternoon.
TRN’s head weather analyst Philip Duncan says many streams and rivers are very dangerous and a number have burst their banks.  “A normally small stream has burst its banks very quickly this afternoon flooding some parts of the Hauraki Golf Club.  Many farms in the area are also underwater this afternoon and rivers could rise further with some further heavy, possibly thundery showers moving in”.
Duncan says deep flood waters near Maramarua are “lapping against State Highway 2 just down from the Castle” however the road is fully open and unlikely to be closed. 
The heavy rain, which peaked around noon, was accompanied by rumbles of thunder but the wind has stayed relatively quiet.  MetService was warning of gales for many northern regions today including Auckland however the Weather Watch Centre yesterday dismissed the chances of gales today saying that the centre of the storm was too far off shore to create gale force winds on land.  “Most regions didn’t even come close to gale force today or last night” says Duncan.
The heavy rain is now heading east and south and more heavy bands of rain are moving back in to Coromandel and the Hauraki Plains.  MetService has a number of rain warnings out including Coromandel Peninsula, the Gisborne ranges, and now parts of Southern Canterbury and Eastern Otago.
The Weather Centre is advising motorists to take extreme care across the Hauraki Plains and Eastern Waikato due to further surface flooding from heavy showers, and is also warning of the potential for slips across the Coromandel Peninsula.  “Driving may also be extremely hazardous across Eastern Bay of Plenty and Gisborne with surface flooding and poor visibility likely this afternoon and tonight”.
-        at 3PM – Heavy rain falling across Rotorua and Taupo. 
-        At 3PM – warm temperatures in Northland with clearing skies, however further heavy downpours including some thunderstorms are possible tonight.



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- Winds not expected to be so severe

- Thunderstorms on the way
The storm expected to bring heavy rain and thunderstorms to northern New Zealand tomorrow is still on the way, although now a few hours later than expected.
Heavy rain was to start falling later tonight but the low hasn’t moved as fast as computer models predicted meaning tonight should be mainly dry.  However tomorrow is a different picture.  Heavy rain should start before sunrise in Northland reaching Auckland and Coromandel later in the morning.  Accompanying the rain will be large thunderstorms which could mean some very heavy localised downpours.  “These thunderstorms embedded within the main rain bands could cause localised flash and surface flooding” warns the Radio Network’s head weather analyst Philip Duncan.  “They could make small streams and drains very dangerous within minutes”.    Regions most at risk are eastern Northland and Coromandel Peninsula and northern regions of Auckland.
And heavy rain is not what Northlanders want to hear.  The storm is being fuelled by moist tropical air and MetService warns up to 70mm could fall, while up to 120mm during Sunday for Coromandel Peninsula.
The main rain band is expected to lie over eastern Bay of Plenty and looping over Wellington and Wesport by tomorrow night. is predicting a 90% chance of heavy rain and thunderstorms in Auckland tomorrow and they’re predicting over 30mm for the city in a relatively short time, while MetService warns up to 60mm could fall in some parts of northern and eastern Auckland.
But Duncan says because the storm is following a slightly different path now, he expects winds to not be as severe.  “Yesterday forecasters were warning of gales for northern parts of the country, however because the low will slide down NZ well off the west coast, the severe gales will be mainly out at sea.  It’s possible winds will reach gale force briefly but it’s not looking too severe at this stage”.
Duncan says winds were gusting to 100km/h at Cape Reinga at 6pm but elsewhere they “weren’t even close” to gale force.
The storms current projected path will see it cross Southland on Monday or Tuesday and will deep further.  That means more heavy rain and strong to gale force winds for many areas right up until Wednesday.
-        A few showers are now developing in Northland.
-        Warmer conditions over Northern NZ are making it feel more like Spring.



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- Heavy rain, strong winds for many parts of the country
- Dangerous surf along west coast


The big storm predicted to hit New Zealand this weekend is this afternoon starting to appear on satellite images.  TRN’s Head Weather Analyst Philip Duncan says the low at the top of the Tasman Sea is being fed by air heavy with moisture from the tropics – and that spells heavy rain for much of New Zealand.
“The storm is going to develop and deepen during Saturday.  Because it’s  expected to move quite quickly towards New Zealand we’re likely to see north east winds build up rapidly on Saturday afternoon in the north”.
Duncan says rain will be the main feature though, falling Saturday night in Northland with heavy falls developing and moving south during Sunday morning.  “Our advice to residents recently affected by floods in Northland is to ensure you’re prepared for further flooding.  While we’re not expecting it to be anywhere near what we saw earlier this month, there is the possibility for moderate flooding due to the soil being saturated already”.
TRN’s Weather Watch Centre is also advising motorists to take extreme care in Northland, with a high risk of further slips and a moderate risk of roads being flooded from Auckland northwards, especially from midnight Saturday to noon Sunday.
Wind is also likely to be part of this storm however the worst of it will now likely be out to sea.  “North east winds may gust to gale force in coastal areas north of Auckland overnight Saturday/Sunday morning but damage should be minimal if any at all at this stage”.
MetService has issued a number of heavy rain warnings predicting up to 70mm of rain overnight Saturday night/Sunday morning in Northland and for Coromandel and the hills around Bay of Plenty up to 120mm Sunday morning.  They say this system has the potential to be a significant weather event.  Heavy rain fall warnings have also been issued for the South Island’s west coast all day Saturday.
But looking ahead to Monday sees severe weather for all of New Zealand as the storm continues to intensify.  “This low will continue to deepen over the next 72 hours, with the air pressure possibly dropping to about 970mb that means very strong winds for most of New Zealand and heavy rain for the South Island.  Most at risk will be southern and eastern parts of the South Island on Monday or Tuesday”.
“We are advising boaties and fisherman to completely avoid the west coast from Northland to Southland from Saturday night until at least Tuesday. Very low air pressure combined with gales off shore will create massive seas and very strong rip tides”.
The Weather Watch Centre will monitor this system closely and will update via email when needed over the next 72 hours.
- Warm across the east coast of the North Island this afternoon.  At 3pm it was 19 degrees in Napier.



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- Gales, Heavy rain for Northland, Auckland, Coromandel
- MetService issues numerous Severe Weather Outlooks
Here we go again, another deep Tasman Sea low is forecast to bring more gales and torrential rain to northern parts of the country.
As predicted by the Radio Network’s Weather Watch Centre, a large high over the Tasman acted as a ‘lid’ stopping the growth of lows for the past week, but the high has moved away and a low should start to deepen on Saturday.
“This low has the potential to create more flooding rains and damaging winds to Northland, Coromandel Peninsula and even into Bay of Plenty” says Head Weather Analyst Philip Duncan. 
Duncan says humid air sucked down from the tropics could create some very heavy bands of rain over the north.  “Residents in Northland need to be prepared for further flooding, possibly severe flooding”.
MetService forecasters are also treating this system very seriously issuing a number of Severe Weather Outlooks for the weekend.  They are warning that there is good confidence of heavy rain in Northland, Auckland, Coromandel and Bay of Plenty.  They’re also predicting snow could fall to low levels in the South Island over the weekend.
Philip Duncan says winds are likely to reach gale force in the far north.  “As we experienced a few weeks ago, the deep low near Northland will contend with a large High out to the east.  That means a squeeze of air pressure between the two systems resulting in gales especially in Northland and Auckland”. 
Residents in the firing line of the storm are advised to keep up to date with the latest weather developments via NewstalkZB News and the latest weather forecasts on the radio.
The Weather Watch Centre will monitor this system closely and will update via email when needed over the next 72 hours.
- MetService says the risks of more rain warnings being issued in Hawke’s Bay are low with this system.
- Warmer temperatures for NZ today (Friday) with highs in the east coast of the Island, from Whangarei to Christchuch, climbing as high as the late teens.



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Warm, strong, norwester sees overnight lows rocket
Is Winter now over?!


Finally after a month of overnight lows close to minus 10 and daytime highs lucky to break the zero degree mark, the South Island is being treated to much warmer weather.
The Radio Network’s head weather analyst Philip Duncan says that’s due to some strong winds.  “A large high to the north and a deep low south of the country is creating some strong westerlies across bottom half of the country”. 
Duncan says overnight lows dipped only to around 9 or 10 degrees in central otago, about 20 degrees warmer than the coldest nights recently. 
He says Stewart Island and coastal Southland have been hammered by winds gusting to 115km/h.
“It’s looking like a frost free week and weekend for the South Island”. is predicting milder temperatures until Sunday.
And our South Island weather analyst says the windy weather isn’t good for ski field operators.  Richard Green says many skifields in the South are either closed or on hold. 
Green says temperatures in and around Christchurch has soared this morning.  “It’s currently 15 degrees in Lyttleton and 14 in Christchurch itself”.  He says those in Central Otago must be thinking Spring has come early.
So is winter over?  Yes and no according Philip Duncan.  “I would say we’ve probably seen the coldest temperatures of the year now and the daytime highs appear to be lifting somewhat in the North, but we have a very long way to go yet”. 
He says the days are becoming longer, most noticeably in the evening, and that increased sunlight is starting to warm things up a little.  “But severe snow storms and heavy frosts are possible well into August and September”.  In fact is predicting severe frosts to return next week to Central Otago.
- Central Otago will see highs back into double digits this weekend before colder weather arrives next week.
- Heavy rain on the way for the West Coast of the South Island today and again on Friday/Saturday.
- More dry, sunny, weather for Northland this week.  Showers, if any at all, will be very light and short lived.
- Hawke’s Bay will be basking in a high today of up to 18 degrees thanks to the nor’wester.



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Why China is spending $50 million US dollars a year on Weather Modification
And how involved are New Zealand and Australia

For over 50 years now governments around the world have tried, and mostly failed, to cloud seed.   Cloud seeding is basically a form of weather modification.  Using chemicals that are dropped into clouds (by plane) or blasted into (by rockets) the idea is to increase the amount of rain in clouds.

In America cloud seeding trials are being carried out for a variety of reasons.  In drought affected areas the government is seeding clouds to create rain.  In airports prone to fog they are experimenting with ways to reduce the amount of fog and in states affected by large hail storms trials are being performed to reduce the size of hail.  At this stage nothing ground breaking has been uncovered.  Some ski filed operators in the US and Canada are also getting involved with trials to boost snow fall.  Trials were also done in Hurricanes but fears that they might ‘get it wrong’ and create worse hurricanes meant the trials were cancelled.
But it’s China that’s stealing the lime light when it comes to this unusual practice, spending 50 million US dollars a year as part of their weather modification project.   This is to try and make the rain fall in drought affected areas, including Beijing.  The Chinese fire rockets into the sky and they do believe they’re achieving more rainfall leading to neighbouring countries to accuse them of “stealing rain”.  Of course rockets aren’t the safest form of doing this and a number have gone off target and slammed into houses and people.  (must be using American intelligence!)
You may have already heard that China has guaranteed fine weather for the Olympics in August next year.  Unfortunately August is their wet month with lots of summer induced rain and the opening ceremony will be in an uncovered stadium.  The plan is that the 50 million dollar a year research will mean that if rain clouds start to build before the ceremony then they’ll fire rockets up and prematurely make the rain fall our of them…leaving the clouds rain-free by the start of the ceremony.   So easy!  Unfortunately at this stage…it doesn’t really work.
You might think that’s a complete waste of money… I would have to agree if it’s purely to ensure a dry Olympics… but if the Chinese actually manage to create a way to make rain fall can you imagine what that would mean for the drought affected areas of the world.  Well it would certainly mean huge dollars for the Chinese but it would also mean a huge boost in the quality of life for dry areas around the globe.
In Australia the New South Wales opposition has called for cloud seeding trials to start again in the state.  Trials were abandoned in the 1990’s when the Labor Government came into power.  Some testing has carried on the Snow Mountains but the opposition wants to see that extended further.  Inducing rain could be a life saver for many farms affected by Australia’s arid conditions.
Over twenty countries around the world are actively involved in weather modification trials.  New Zealand is not one of them. According to NIWA “So far we do not know enough about clouds and how to seed them, to be sure of the effects. We might make less rain when we want more, or more hail when we want less. So cloud seeding is not done in New Zealand”.  Trials were carried out in the 1950s using planes to drop dry ice in the clouds to bring rain to dry farms.  The trial was unsuccessful.
A spokesman at MetService said back in the 1860s trials were conducted where cannons were used to shoot clouds in the hopes it would alter rainfall.  Don’t think that brilliant idea worked too well.  In the 1970s the New Zealand Government dropped silver iodide from planes over Marlborough in the hopes they could create rain to ease droughts.  But if the air is dry and there are no clouds then there is no point in seeding.  It makes about as much sense as planting plant seeds on top of concrete instead of in the soil.
So whether cloud seeding can ever truly work is yet to be seen…but quite often it’s the craziest ideas that end up working.  So I say keep the research going.
- Gales set to develop in central and eastern parts of New Zealand later this week.
- Most South Island centres should be frost free for the rest of the week.



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Christchurch, Wellington, Napier all in firing line for strong winds this week.

It’s been many months since New Zealand’s famous nor’wester has blown and by the end of this week eastern parts of the country will be feeling it again.  A large high pressure system in the Tasman Sea will spread to the north of New Zealand and will squeeze against a deep low in the southern ocean causing strong nor’westerlies to develop.
“The start of the week will be calm and cold but by Wednesday strong winds will be affecting Christchurch, Wellington and Napier with gales possible in exposed places.  That means a definite end to frosts for most if not all towns and cities in the South Island for a number of  days” says the Radio Network’s head weather analyst Philip Duncan.
“Day time highs are likely to return to the mid even upper teens”
“A few months ago the nor’westers were bringing drought conditions to Hawke’s Bay, but this time around the farmers will be pleased to have the warm, dry conditions return”.
However the westerly airflow means a return to traditional winter weather for western areas.  Heavy rain is expected off and on this week in the South Island’s southern and west coasts, as far inland as Queenstown, while New Plymouth and Taranaki will see showers.  “In Waikato and Auckland you can expect a pretty good start to the week but those sou’westers could drag in some cloudy periods and maybe the odd shower, especially tomorrow.
And there’s more good news for the other flood ravaged region of the country – Northland.  “This week the centre of a high, not a low, will be anchored over the far north, meaning plenty of sun and temperatures around 15 or 16 degrees.  There is the risk of a shower, but they should be light and brief if any at all”.
Duncan says the change in the weather pattern could be an indicator that the coldest part of winter has come to an end.
- Frosts and black ice still likely tonight in the South Island.
- predicts westerlies for the next 10 days.
- Major flooding in the UK. A months rainfall in a day for some parts.


WARM AIR TO COLLIDE WITH COLD: Thunderstorms, Snow, Rain.

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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.