Heavy rain on the way for North Island

Rain will affect much of the North Island this week. File photo.

Heavy rain is on the cards for much of the North Island this week, while the South Island could be in for a hefty dollop of snow.

As the short working week got underway, parts of the eastern North Island were recovering from heavy rain that fell during Queens Birthday weekend.

The Gisborne region was the most affected as 61 bridges across the region were shut due to flooding, but there was a slight reprieve before the cold and rain reached the North Island again on Wednesday.

The cold front which followed the heavy rain brought with it snow and cold temperatures to the south.

“Snow fell to low levels in the South Island late Tuesday and early Wednesday, with many reports of a few centimetres around 200m and above, and even some falls to sea level around Dunedin. This brought welcome news for ski fields arounds the Island,” says MetService spokesperson Kyle Lee.

The North Island then received its heaviest snow on Wednesday with the Desert road and Napier – Taupo roads being closed temporarily. A following front brought more snow to the South Island on Thursday but not to such low levels.

As these fronts left the country a ridge of high pressure moved over New Zealand, bringing settled weather. This however, led to several chilly days for the end of the week as minimum temperatures plummeted below freezing for many areas.

“Waiouru dropped to -5.6C, and Pukaki dropped to -4.4C in the South Island on Friday morning,” says Kyle.

Another front reached the South Island for the weekend which led to warmer temperatures. The front also brought heavy rain to the west coast and strong winds for the southern parts of the Island. The north of the country remained relatively settled for much of the weekend but this is expected to abruptly end this coming week as a low pressure system takes aim at the North Island.

“Although, at this stage there is still significant uncertainty at exactly where the low will be heading in the coming days, there are still regions we can highlight in our Severe Weather Watches and Warnings that are most likely to be affected.

“In particular, the Gisborne region could be in for significant rainfall, which is likely to cause further damage for the area still recovering from the Queen’s Birthday floods.”


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