Heavy rain in the north, bitter cold in the south

After heavy rain lashed Northland yesterday, with some weather stations recording over half of their average monthly rainfall in little over a day, Northland is experiencing some temporary relief from the wet weather. The rain band has now moved further south, with Auckland and Coromandel Peninsula now experiencing the worst of the weather, and it is expected to gradually move across Bay of Plenty this afternoon.

“Aucklanders can expect 50 – 70 mm of rainfall between the hours of 10 am and 6pm on Sunday, with the potential of localised downpours of 20 – 25 mm/hr or more and thunderstorms,” said MetService Meteorologist Claire Flynn. “This amount of rainfall could cause slips and surface flooding, as well as making driving hazardous, so people need to be aware of the risk and drive to the conditions.”

In addition to the Warning for Auckland, Coromandel Peninsula is under Warning for heavy rain until 9pm tonight, and Bay of Plenty west of Te Puke is under Warning until 6am Mondaymorning. The remainder of Bay of Plenty and also Gisborne north of Tokomaru Bay are under a Watch. The rain band will then move over Hawkes Bay tomorrow, also under a Watch.

“The rain band is heading southwards, and Northlanders are experiencing a lull in the weather. However, on Monday we are expecting another rain band with possible thunderstorms to move over Northland and Auckland, with a Severe Weather Watch in force for further heavy rain for Northland between 3am and 3pm Monday,” cautioned Flynn.

The remainder of the North Island, as well as the top of the South Island and also Canterbury and North Otago can expect occasional rain through the remainder of Queen’s Birthday Weekend, though the heaviest falls are expected to remain in the north.

Further south, for the likes of Central Otago and inland Southland, the hard frosts that people have been experiencing are expected to continue for another day or two yet.

“There is a stark contrast in the weather from the north to the south of the country this weekend, with Severe Weather Watches and Warnings out for the northern half of the North Island, while southern areas have been experiencing very settled, but bitterly cold weather,” explained Flynn. “We have been seeing overnight lows well into the negatives down south, with Mt. Cook Airport reporting -10.4C on Sunday morning. Other areas haven’t managed to break 0°C during the daytime – the high temperature in Alexandra on Saturday was -0.6C.”

The settled weather and hard frosts are expected to continue for another day or two yet, before strong southerlies begin to move up the country on Tuesday with the next weather system. While the southerlies will put an end to the extreme low temperatures we have seen over the past few days, it certainly will not be warm – the strong winds will bring heavy rain to eastern areas, with snow lowering to about 400 metres, with the potential to significantly disrupt travel.

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