Downpours dampen outlook for week

00:55, Jun 09 2014

Expect a wet start to the week with heavy rain forecast for much of the country, particularly in the north of both main islands.

Severe weather warnings for heavy rain have already been issued for Northland down to the Coromandel, as well as for Nelson and parts of Marlborough.

A low pressure system to the west of the country meant New Zealand was going to be caught in a "very moist northeasterly feed of air", MetService meteorologist John Law said.

"It will be areas exposed to that northeasterly flow that bear the brunt of the rainfall - for example the Coromandel and northwestern parts of Nelson."

More rain is also forecast for Canterbury, with the heaviest falls in the High Country and about the foothills. Rainfall totals for Christchurch are likely to be in the region of 40 to 50mm over the 48 hours through to Wednesday morning.

MetService warned the rain could cause rivers and streams to rise rapidly, surface flooding and slips, and make driving conditions hazardous.

Auckland is facing an "extremely wet few days", said MetService Auckland forecaster Georgina Griffiths. "It has been a long, long time since we've had the "Old Man Nor'easter" bring in this type of extended rain."

The rain will make setting up for National Fieldays at Mystery Creek a rather soggy affair, but the weather looks set to slowly improve through the week with some sunnier spells returning for the final few days.