Ruth is the human interest reporter and a photographer for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Air from tropics pours on city

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Torrential downpour sees Tauranga get more than half its average monthly rainfall in just a matter of hours.
KEEP THE BROLLY HANDY: More rain is expected over the weekend.PHOTO/JOHN BORREN
KEEP THE BROLLY HANDY: More rain is expected over the weekend.PHOTO/JOHN BORREN

Tauranga was hit by torrential rain yesterday morning with more than half the average monthly rainfall falling in just a matter of hours.

In one hour, 18mm of rain was recorded at Tauranga airport.

"We consider that quite heavy rain," MetService meteorologist Lisa Murray said.

A section of Maleme St, Greerton, was closed due to flooding but reopened later in the day.

MetService recorded more than 70mm of rain falling over 24 hours. The average recorded rainfall in Tauranga for March was 87mm of rain.

Read more: Tauranga pupils back call for sugar tax on fizzies

The 71.2mm of rain yesterday combined with three other downpours this month accounted for the 106mm of rain which fell over the city. The total rainfall for February was 142mm, which was also above average rainfall.

The wettest March was in 1995 with 157.6mm of rain. While the driest March was in 2002 where 33.4mm of rain fell.

"When you get a northerly flow that is bringing lots of moist air, it comes down from the tropics. It's warmer air so it can hold more moisture. It then gets lifted over the land so the moisture falls out of it."

Ms Murray said there would be more cloud and rain but it would clear later this afternoon.

"Winds would not be too strong but they will be in a northerly-direction. There is a small chance of an isolated shower at some point."

Tomorrow would be cloudy with showers.

High pressure to the east of New Zealand which gave the north-easterly flow was not shifting anywhere.

"It's really slow moving, these north easterlies are going to stick around. It pushes the cloud onshore, so you can get these occasional showers."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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