Wet outlook for the new year

IMPOSING SKY: Thunderclouds over Palmerston North on Boxing Day
IMPOSING SKY: Thunderclouds over Palmerston North on Boxing Day

Manawatu may not have seen the last of the Cyclone Evan-inspired thunderstorms which loomed over on the region on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

MetService has issued a warning about the potential development of severe thunderstorms this afternoon and evening, from Waikato down to Wairarapa.

''These storms are expected to be slow moving and capable of producing flooding rainfall, 25-40mm an hour,'' the Metservice warning says.

''Rainfall of this intensity can cause surface and/or flash flooding, especially about low-lying areas such as streams, rivers or narrow valleys, and may also lead to slips.''

People should take shelter immediately ''should severe weather approach or if you feel threatened''.

The warning applies to Waikato, Waitomo, Taumarunui, Taupo, Hawke's Bay, Taranaki, Taihape, Wanganui, Manawatu, Tararua, and Wairarapa.

Palmerston North sweated through humid 30 degree temperatures on both Christmas Day and Boxing Day, with afternoon thunderstorms on both days bringing heavy showers to the region as well as relief from the stifling heat.

The warm, moist air over the country was created by the remains of Cyclone Evan, MetService forecaster Brooke Lockhart said.

The muggy conditions combined with the afternoon heat to create the perfect cocktail for thunderstorms.

New Years Eve was also not shaping up well, with showers likely across the region, Lockhart said.

"It's nothing outrageous, just showers, so try not to let your barbecue get too wet and you'll be fine."

WeatherWatch head analyst Philip Duncan said the central North Island could expect showers and gusty norwesters in the days leading up to new year festivities.

"I tend to be a glass-half-full kinda guy and, while the forecast may not be ideal, keep in mind long-range predictions are just a basic guide ...

"If you're going away camping, just keep up to date with the latest weather news and potential warnings. But this looks short-lived, with a high hopefully moving in to settle things down for the start of January."

Manawatu Standard