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Commuter warning ahead of heavy rain, thunderstorms, localised flooding fears

Cherie Howie,
Publish Date
Thu, 13 Jun 2024, 2:07pm

Commuter warning ahead of heavy rain, thunderstorms, localised flooding fears

Cherie Howie,
Publish Date
Thu, 13 Jun 2024, 2:07pm

Commuters are being warned to plan ahead of their journeys tomorrow morning as “messy weather” and potential thunderstorms hit Auckland overnight, with localised flooding and “water pooling” expected.

Earlier this afternoon Auckland Council’s emergency management general manager Adam Maggs said in a media statement Aucklanders should “delay trips for a few hours if you can” tomorrow morning.

But that advice has now been revised.

Commuters should instead check the forecast and plan ahead of their journeys, Maggs said.

A wild night of heavy rain and thunderstorms is forecast for Auckland and Northland as a tropically-fuelled disturbance drags a day of rain across the north.

“We’re expecting a band of messy weather with rain from 8pm tonight until daylight Friday morning, easing through Friday morning and afternoon ... we expect local flooding and water pooling, especially after any heavy falls of rain.

“These are most likely to be in the north and east of Auckland.

Other precautions recommended included putting away loose items, and checking gutters and drains,

If life or property was at risk at any time, call 111, but otherwise Auckland Council could be contacted on 09 301 0101 for reporting blocked drains and online via the council website’s ‘report a problem’ link if trees have come down in public areas, he said.

Periods of heavy rain with possible thunderstorms are expected in Auckland overnight from 10pm to 5am, and from 3pm today to 11am tomorrow in Northland, MetService says.

“Heads up Auckland. Our expert forecasters have decided to issue a severe thunderstorm watch for potential downpours with the rain tonight,” they tweeted this afternoon.

“Some areas could see larger accumulations of rain than others & impacts are possible with the high intensity rainfall.”

Localised downpours are also possible, MetService said in its watch.

“Between 10pm tonight and 5am [tomorrow], localised downpours of 25-40mm/h are possible in some parts of the Auckland region (including the islands of the Inner Hauraki Gulf). These downpours could occur with or without thunderstorms.”

Meanwhile, Northland driving conditions would be hazardous with surface flooding and poor visibility in heavy rain, MetService said.

“The thunderstorm and downpour risk initially starts in the Far North this afternoon, then spreads southwards to other parts of Northland this evening.”

Northland has a heavy rain watch in place until 11am tomorrow, with a moderate chance of an upgrade to a warning, MetService said.

“Thunderstorms and localised downpours possible.”

There’s a low pressure system to the west of the country, MetService meteorologist Mmathapelo Makgabutlane said.

“It is going to be bringing bands of rain over the next few days while it’s around.”

Aucklanders and Northlanders are being warned the wet weather could cause surface or flash flooding, especially in low-lying areas such as streams, rivers or valleys, and could also spark slips.

Auckland’s heavy rain watch, which also extends to Great Barrier Island and Coromandel Peninsula, is from 8pm today to 2pm tomorrow when periods of heavy rain may approach warning criteria, MetService said.

Thunderstorms and localised downpours are also possible, they said.

The rain should ease to showers in the afternoon, before easing in the evening, although thunderstorms and hail are possible until evening.

Despite the foul conditions, it’ll be mild for the time of year, with a high of 18C forecast in Auckland tomorrow, 3C above the June average. A high of 18C is forecast for Whangārei tomorrow.

“Northeasterlies [will be] turning southwesterly in the afternoon, fresh in the evening”, they said for Auckland.

The heavy rain and possible thunderstorms would also likely bring windy conditions, MetService meteorologist John Law said.

“Especially overnight, Thursday into Friday, into the northern areas.”

The watches are among a slew of weather warnings and watches around the country.

A heavy rain warning has been issued for Tasman, northwest of Motueka, from 24 hours from 6pm today, with 120mm to 150mm expected.

Bay of Plenty and Rotorua are under a heavy rain warning until 8pm today.

Taupō and Mt Taranaki have heavy rain watches until this evening, and Fiordland and the Westland ranges until 4am tomorrow.

Cherie Howie is an Auckland-based reporter who joined the Herald in 2011. She has been a journalist for more than 20 years and specialises in general news and features.

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