Fresh storm due to hit on Friday

TRACY NEAL
Last updated 13:00 09/10/2012
Bridge St, Nelson
MARION VAN DIJK/Fairfax NZ

HARD RAIN: Bridge St, Nelson, seen through a rain-lashed car window.

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Nelson will get some brief respite from the damp, blustery spring weather before it is expected to set in again from Friday, as a low pressure system building in the Tasman Sea looks set to lash the region.

Nelson weather forecaster John Mathieson said today the system that has just passed over dropped only 1mm of rain on Takaka since this time yesterday and on Stoke slightly less.

"Today offers just a few scattered showers and longer dry spells generally with the keen mild northerly wind slowly relaxing later in the afternoon or evening," Mr Mathieson said.

Nelson would be mostly fine tomorrow with "residual showers lurking".

West to southwest winds develop inland, with lighter northerly winds expected in the afternoon about the coasts.

Mr Mathieson said Thursday would be fine for most of the mid and upper South Island as a "fleeting spring ridge" moved across the country, before a fresh deepening low moved southeastwards over the Tasman Sea.

Nelson could become cloudy with strong, gusty northeast winds taking hold by mid Friday afternoon with drizzle and rain by evening.

MetService forecaster Ian Gall said at this stage the system was looking to cross central New Zealand, but was likely to move swiftly, and bring periods of heavy rain to Nelson on Saturday.

"It will be windy, but not hugely so. It may be blustery, then later on Friday the wind should come up a bit before Saturday as the system moves past as the flow turns south," Mr Gall said.

He said mid-Tasman lows of the size forecast and its associated storm-force winds were not common at this time of year, but "they do happen".

"They can happen at any time of the year. We don't have a particularly well-defined season in New Zealand for different types of weather.

"The atmosphere is already set for one low which we've just had, allowing this second one to come across," Mr Gall said. He said a forecast for what the low would bring would become more precise nearer the end of the week.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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