Gales to hit Northland, northern Auckland

05:16, Jul 07 2014

The north of the North Island is in for a battering during the next few days.

The heaviest rain and strongest winds were expected to hit Northland, but northern parts of Auckland, the Coromandel Peninsula and eastern Waikato were also expected to get a significant period of heavy rain and severe easterly gales, MetService said.

In Northland, rain was expected to pick up tomorrow morning and become heavy from the north during the afternoon. In the 24 hours from around noon tomorrow 120-160mm could fall in the eastern hills, with 60-100mm in other northern and eastern areas.

The heaviest falls were expected north of Whangarei from tomorrow evening through to Wednesday morning, with possible thunderstorms, MetService said.

East to northeast gales were expected to develop during tomorrow morning, with gusts to 130kmh in exposed places.

"Winds of this strength have the potential to damage trees, powerlines and unsecured structures and with the combination of heavy rain make driving conditions hazardous," MetService said.

Further rain and strong winds were expected in Northland through the rest of Wednesday into Thursday morning, but should be less intense.

The part of Auckland expected to be most affected by heavy rain and strong winds was mainly north of Orewa and about Great Barrier Island, while the hardest hit part of Waikato would be near the Kaimai Range. In those areas, and the Coromandel, heavy rain and severe easterly gales were possible from tomorrow evening through to Wednesday evening.