Thunder storms fizzle out in north

JOSH FAGAN
Last updated 19:46 04/09/2014

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Auckland and Northland may have been spared the forecast wild weather, with the MetService revising its thunderstorm watch message.

It warned storms may still bring further bursts of heavy rain tonight, but the regions avoided the brunt of thunder that was expected this afternoon.

An Auckland Police spokesman said authorities were on alert for weather-related traffic incidents, but had not yet had any reported.

Earlier forecasts said more than 35mm of rain per hour is expected to fall in certain parts of the region - which could cause flash flooding.

The rain would not be welcome up north, where heavy rains hit last weekend, MetService meteorologist Elke Louw said.

‘‘This rain will be a real concern for many, due to the ground being already saturated,’’ Louw said.

There was potential that thunderstorms may continue until tomorrow and Saturday.

"We're looking at a band of showers moving through and there are some heavy downpours that we're really concerned about," she said.

For the weekend the rainy conditions were forecast to clear late Saturday, before a mainly fine Sunday.

Temperatures would remain in the high teens - with a high of 18 tomorrow and 18 Friday.

Louw said the risk of flooding meant drivers should be wary of hazardous conditions and poor visibility.

For many parts of the country the recent early touch of spring will come to an abrupt end this weekend. 

Tonight's low is expected to track to the east, with the rain bands slowly spreading to the central parts of the North Island by Friday. 

The South Island will, for the most part, remain fine in the west but experience morning and evening cloud in the east, as well as a few showers in the south.

The rain in the north of the North Island is expected to ease as we head into the weekend, but will be settling in for Hawke's Bay and Gisborne from Friday.

A change to colder southerlies is expected overnight on Sunday and into Monday for the South Island. 

"It is going to be wet and windy with snow flurries possible about the hills, especially for central Otago and inland Southland on Sunday night," Louw said.

Wellington will get some cloud and rain on Saturday, but will have its springtime interrupted on Monday when a cold southerly change and rain will see temperatures plunge to 5 degrees.


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