Sun to return on Waitangi Day

A break in the golden weather hit the capital with a vengeance as the skies opened up and rained bucketloads yesterday.

The cloudbursts, torrential at times, drenched pedestrians and had motorists driving in conditions many would have forgotten about after a 10-day spell of sunshine and high temperatures.

There were reports last night of surface flooding on State Highway 2 in the Hutt Valley, in Porirua and in Wellington's northern suburbs. An Air New Zealand flight from Auckland to Wellington had to be diverted to Christchurch after circling Wellington Airport for 30 minutes from about 7.30pm, looking for a break in the weather.

The heavy falls were expected to ease overnight, though more rain is forecast for today, with a blustery southerly expected to drop temperatures by about 5 degrees Celsius before showers clear and the sun returns on Waitangi Day.

The weather remained warm yesterday, however, peaking at 22C in the capital, buoyed by gusty northerlies and a humid front. Parched areas of Wairarapa and Hawke's Bay were not treated to the same deluge, with heavy rain falling only about the ranges.

The humid front kept the east coast sweating, with highs of 31C in Hastings, 30C in Napier and 26C in Masterton.

The Dominion Post