Prepare for (another) soaking as remnants of cyclone Debbie bring rain until Thursday
The central and lower North Island is being warned to brace for slips and flooding as the rain starts to fall.
Heavy rain is expected for much of the North Island and the top of the South Island during the week as the remnants of Cyclone Debbie move over the Tasman Sea towards New Zealand.
The first of the rain started on Monday night and was set to last through to Thursday. Gales were also predicted for some areas.
MetService said a deep low would be approaching northern New Zealand on Tuesday, then cross the country during Wednesday and Thursday.
Areas expected to get the heaviest rain were Taranaki, Whanganui and the Tararua Ranges, with severe weather warnings in place for these three regions along with Hawke's Bay and Wairarapa.
Taranaki and Whanganui could also get north to northeast gales from Tuesday afternoon to early Wednesday, while easterly gales could hit Buller from Tuesday night to Wednesday morning.
Mother nature would dump a month's worth of rain on Taranaki during the next two days.
Taranaki Civil Defence Emergency Management Group duty officer Shane Brigg is telling the public to prepare for the stormy weather, as well as the floods and slips it was expected to bring.
Taranaki was set to get as much as 250 millimetres of rain in coastal areas over a 48-hour period, and up to 400mm in the mountains.
Rainfall intensity would peak at 15-40mm an hour across the lower North Island, MetService said.
Heavy rain from tonight until Wednesday night. Check that gutters and storm-water drains in the street are clear of leaves and debris.— Taranaki CD (@TaranakiCD) April 3, 2017
Manawatu, Whanganui and the Tararua Ranges would also be hit with Debbie's force during the coming days.
The first of the heavy rain was expected to touch down in Manawatu on Monday night and could last through to Thursday.
Metservice forecaster Cameron Coutts said the rainfall would not be severe for Palmerston North, but the area was in for a significant downpour.
"We are talking heavy falls until at least Wednesday," he said.
Up to 250mm was expected to fall in the Tararua Ranges during a 30-hour period.
Coutts said low-lying parts of Manawatu could also expect up to 150mm before the low moved on.
We have activated our ECC and staff are keeping an eye on river levels overnight. Please drive to the conditions. 💦https://t.co/EI5sB7UXj3— Horizons RC (@HorizonsRC) April 3, 2017
And in Whanganui rain was expected to become heavy overnight on Tuesday, turning to showers during Wednesday.
The region was in for 250mm in 33 hours to midday on Wednesday.
Horizons Regional Council said hydrology and emergency management staff would be keeping an eye on river levels across the regions.
HEAVY RAIN WARNING - TARARUA RANGES - From 6am Tuesday to midday Wednesday, 200 to 250mm of rain may accumulate. Peak intensities 20-30mm/hr— WREMO (@WREMOinfo) April 3, 2017
HEAVY RAIN WARNING - WAIRARAPA (away from the Tararua ranges) - From midnight Monday to noon Wednesday expect 120-160mm. 10 to 20mm/hr.— WREMO (@WREMOinfo) April 3, 2017
"This is a significant amount of rain for these areas and people are advised to watch out for rapidly rising rivers and streams, and possible surface flooding and slips," Coutts said.
After Thursday, a ridge was expected to arrive, which would clear the bad weather away.
Wellington is set for a deluge of double its usual rainfall for April over 48 hours with rain forecast from Monday through to Wednesday.
To add to the capital's bad weather woes, southeasterlies were expected to rise to gale strength in exposed places on Tuesday, when a high of just 13 degrees Celsius was expected.
Rain would also be heavy at times on Tuesday and Wednesday in Taumarunui, Taihape, Hawke's Bay, Coromandel Peninsula, Bay of Plenty, Rotorua, Horowhenua, Kapiti Coast, Wairarapa, Marlborough and Nelson.
The wettest days were expected to be Tuesday and Wednesday.
NOT A CYCLONE
MetService meteorologist Stephen Glassey said it was important to note the deepening low left over from the remnants of Cyclone Debbie bore little resemblance to a tropical cyclone other than the fact it contained loads of tropical moisture, bringing with it the potential for heavy rain.
The rain that fell around central areas of the country early on Monday were not from the remnants of Cyclone Debbie.
A collection of fronts was sitting around central New Zealand early on Monday due to a southerly push, which came up the east coast of the South Island and had extended over the lower part of the North Island.
At the same time there was a fairly moist northerly airstream over much of the North Island.
The collision of the two weather patterns caused the early rain but Debbie's deluge wouldn't touch down until later on Monday.