Heavy Rain Could Cause Flooding Across NZ

Publish Date
Monday, 31 August 2015, 3:33PM

Get ready for the deluge- a series of rain bands will move down the country today.

Forecasters have warned Kiwis about a number of lows bringing heavy, isolated rain and wind to the country for the start of spring.

And it's already kicked off for Northland and the north of Auckland.

MetService meteorologist Stephen Glassey said the wet weather should reach Auckland city before 10am but the heaviest falls will come overnight and early on Tuesday.

The fog that hampered motorists in Auckland and Waikato this morning should lift as the rain sets in, he said.

There was a weather watch in place for heavy rain in Auckland, Coromandel, Peninsula, Waikato and the Bay of Plenty and potentially severe gales in the central North Island.

"The fog should be clearing as the rain starts," Mr Glassey said.

"We've got a band of rain spreading south over the country today and then there's periods of rain also spreading south.

The worst of it should be tonight and early tomorrow morning."

A severe weather warning is in place for gales in Nelson and Buller and heavy rain in the western Bay of Plenty.

By Tuesday, much of the South Island would also get rain and gales were expected on the west coast of the North Island and upper South Island.

Snow was expected down to as far as 600m in Otago on Wednesday.

MetService meteorologist Emma Blades said the worst of the stormy weather was expected to hit Auckland later this evening and early on Tuesday.

Winds could gust up to 100km/h in exposed places and rain was expected to get heavy.

The weather will hit after the first rain band which is currently sweeping the city eases off, she said.

"If you get those localised downpours that could probably cause surface flooding for areas. In addition to that we've got strong northeasterly gales," she said.

"The heaviest stuff is from late evening so hopefully it will ease off a bit before that, when people are going home from work."

There was a watch in Auckland for the heavy rain and gales from tonight and the stormy weather should ease on Tuesday, she said.

Drivers urged to take care

Auckland Transport is urging drivers to be careful on the roads with heavy rain and severe gales on the forecast tonight.

Heavy rain could cause localised flooding on roads and low-lying areas such as Tamaki Drive could be affected by waves and surface flooding, an Auckland Transport spokesman said.

Heavy winds were also expected.

Auckland Harbourmaster Andrew Hayton said boaties should take the opportunity to secure moorings before the bad weather strikes.

They should not go out once the sea and wind conditions deteriorate, he said.

There are no disruptions to public transport services, including ferries, at this stage. Go to at.govt.nz for updates.