Heavy rain and snow this weekend as storm hits New Zealand

Author
Michael Neilson, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Fri, 19 Jun 2020, 11:20AM
Photo / File
Photo / File

Heavy rain and snow this weekend as storm hits New Zealand

Author
Michael Neilson, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Fri, 19 Jun 2020, 11:20AM

Heavy rain has fallen across the country overnight and snowfall in the south could see roads closed as a winter storm makes its way across the country.

In the past 24 hours, 102mm of rain was recorded at the Remutaka summit near Wellington, and 61mm in the city itself.

Further south Takaka Hill saw over 60mm and Methven 58mm.

Parts of the Gisborne region have also seen 50-100mm in the past 24 hours, and along with Bay of Plenty remain under warning for heavy rain until the early hours of Saturday.

Rain-starved Auckland also joined a bit of the action, with just over 30mm recorded in the ranges to the east and west of the city, filling the alarmingly-low storage dams by 0.9 per cent.

Winds have been strong too, with both Brothers and Stephens islands near the Cook Strait recording maximum gusts around 110km/h, and 84km/h in Wellington.

On Friday snow showers were likely in the morning for Lewis Pass (SH7) and Porters Pass (SH73) in the South Island, with road snowfall warnings in place.

MetService meteorologist Andrew James said driving this severe weather was a low pressure system sitting in the Tasman Sea.

The low pressure and rain would move northward over the coming days as a ridge established itself over southern and central New Zealand, leading to more settled weather over the weekend and early next week.

Auckland on Friday was in for a relatively fine morning, with just some showers from late afternoon and the evening.

Heavy rain warnings were in place for Bay of Plenty east of Whakatāne and the ranges of Gisborne to 6am Saturday, with another 80 to 120mm of rain expected, mainly near East Cape.

Coastal Marlborough and Canterbury north of Waipara were also under a heavy rain warning to 7pm today, with another 40 to 70mm of rain expected.

The low lying to the west of Northland is expected to move slowly eastwards during Saturday and Sunday, with associated fronts affecting central and northern New Zealand.

Strong east to southeast winds are expected about central parts of the country during this period, with areas of rain affecting many parts of the North Island and the upper South Island.

Auckland was in for a mostly fine weekend, with a few showers on Saturday, and potential rain in eastern areas on Sunday.

A ridge is expected to spread over much of the country from the south on Monday, and persist on Tuesday.

There is moderate confidence of heavy rain about Coromandel Peninsula, Bay of Plenty and northern Gisborne on Saturday, and the confidence reduces to low on Sunday.

On Sunday, there is also low confidence of heavy rain about the remainder of Gisborne and Hawke's Bay, especially about the ranges.