Downpours to lash North Island — Auckland put on rain watch

By and is republished with permission

Heavy rain and possible thunderstorms are expected to lash parts of the country from tomorrow, with MetService issuing yellow watches for most of the upper North Island.

The “extended period of unsettled weather” will impact the country from tomorrow.

Meteorologists say a front, preceded by a moist northerly flow, was expected to move slowly east, bringing rain to much of New Zealand over Thursday and Friday.

The heaviest rain was likely to hit the north of the North Island, as well as Taranaki, and the north and west of the South Island, according to MetService.

The forecaster issued heavy rain watches for several of these regions, and said some of these may be upgraded to orange warnings on Thursday morning.

A 22-hour watch has been issued for Northland between 1pm tomorrow and 11am Friday, with a “moderate chance” of being upgraded to an orange warning.

Other regions with a moderate chance of having rain watches upgraded to warnings included the Bay of Plenty and Rotorua, Tasman northwest of Motueka, and Mt Taranaki.

For Auckland and the Coromandel Peninsula, a rain watch has been forecast to begin from 8pm tomorrow until 4pm Friday — with a low chance of being upgraded.

“Periods of heavy rain, and amounts may approach warning criteria.

“Thunderstorms with bursts of heavy rain are possible.”

A heavy rain watch has also been issued for Fiordland north of Doubtful Sound and the ranges of the Westland District, from 11am tomorrow.

Two disturbances in the Tasman Sea were expected to drag tropical moisture into New Zealand from Friday into next week, according to forecaster NIWA.

“The combined system will produce rounds of heavy rainfall, particularly in the northern and eastern South Island, possibly swirling in the Tasman for up to a week.”

Warm air mass leads to hottest June temp ever recorded

The gloomy forecast to end the week comes after meteorologists recorded the hottest-ever temperature record for a June day. According to NIWA, a new national temperature record of 25.7 degrees was recorded at Hastings in Hawke’s Bay on Monday.

The record was based on NIWA’s climate database, with records dating back to the 1850s.

One of the agency’s meteorologists, Ben Noll, explained there were several factors behind the record-breaking warmth.

He said in a statement: “We’ve seen an unseasonably warm air mass over New Zealand that originated in the Coral Sea.

“This combined with something called a foehn northwesterly air flow, which came over the North Island and warmed as it descended the terrain of the Central Plateau and blew into Hawke’s Bay.”

The meteorologist added: “We also can’t ignore climate change — setting a new national temperature record for June is consistent with Aotearoa’s long-term warming trend, where we’re seeing fewer cold extremes and more warm extremes.”

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