Jamie Morton is the NZ Herald's science reporter.

More severe weather on the way

Dreary weather descends on Pilot Bay. Photo / George Novak, Bay of Plenty Times
Dreary weather descends on Pilot Bay. Photo / George Novak, Bay of Plenty Times

Don't go putting those tents back up just yet -- the MetService has forecast more severe weather for much of the country tomorrow.

A severe weather watch and warnings were in place for Westland, Buller, the west of Nelson and the Tararua Range, where there was a high chance of rainfall levels exceeding "warning amounts".

There was moderate confidence of high rainfall levels in Waitomo, and from Taranaki across the central North Island high country to Bay of Plenty, along with an area covering southern Westland, the Richmond Range and Marlborough Sounds.

The warnings stem from a low and associated frontal rain band developing off eastern Australia, which was expected to move eastwards and spread a strong, moist northwesterly flow over much of New Zealand tomorrow.

"The weather system is forecast to clear the country during Saturday, followed by a strong west to southwest flow," MetService said.

There was a "low confidence" that heavy rain about the ranges of eastern Bay of Plenty would continue into Saturday morning.

But there was high confidence in northwest gales about the Marlborough Sounds, Wellington and Wairarapa becoming severe for a time tomorrow, and "moderate" chances of the same for Hawkes Bay and Gisborne.

There was low confidence of northwest gales becoming severe about Buller, the west of Nelson, Kapiti Coast, Horowhenua, Manawatu and coastal Wanganui on Friday and Saturday.

Sophia Wolf (left) and Skye Braithwaite moved in with family next door when their tent succumbed to wind and rain at Tokerau Beach. Photo / Peter Jackson, Northern Advocate
Sophia Wolf (left) and Skye Braithwaite moved in with family next door when their tent succumbed to wind and rain at Tokerau Beach. Photo / Peter Jackson, Northern Advocate

For eastern Southland, Clutha and Dunedin, there was low confidence of severe west to southwest gales tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday.

A ridge of high pressure was forecast to start building over the country on Sunday, with southwesterlies easing.

The flow turned northwesterly over the south of the South Island during Monday as a trough approached from the west.

Meanwhile, WeatherWatch forecasts dry weather for much of today in most regions, but added by the end of the day, "the odd light shower may sneak in" with rain later today in some regions.

"The North Island is mainly dry, just the odd light shower is possible for Northland, Auckland and the Bay of Plenty this evening, then overnight for most regions."

The website reported that the South Island would see the odd shower during the day on the West Coast of the South Island, before rain moved in late afternoon or evening, and became heavy overnight.

"Otago and Southland see a few spots or perhaps slightly longer spells of rain late this afternoon and evening.

"Then Canterbury, Marlborough and Nelson see a few spots of rain from evening becoming more persistent for a time overnight."

The Outlook

Parts of Northland, Auckland and Coromandel Peninsula: Could see some isolated thunderstorms and localised downpours for a time tomorrow afternoon.

Taupo and Bay of Plenty: A period of heavy rain is expected from late tomorrow morning through to tomorrow evening, with possible thunderstorms and localised downpours. Rain could reach warning criteria, especially about the ranges of eastern Bay of Plenty, however even some lower-lying areas could see significant falls.

Taranaki across to Tongariro National Park and up to Southern Waikato, including the headwaters of the Whanganui River: A period of heavy rain is expected from mid-morning tomorrow through to early tomorrow evening, with possible thunderstorms and localised downpours. Rain could reach warning criteria about the hills and ranges, however even some lower-lying areas could see significant falls.

Hawkes Bay: Northwest gales are expected during tomorrow afternoon and evening and could become severe in exposed places south of Napier for a time.

North Canterbury headwaters north of the Waimakariri River: A period of heavy rain was expected about the Divide from tonight through to around midday tomorrow, with significant amounts possible within 15km east of the Divide.

The Richmond Range and Marlborough Sounds, including the Rai Valley: A period of heavy rain is expected from early tomorrow morning through to early afternoon and could reach warning criteria during this time.

Inland North Canterbury north of Waipara: Northwest gales may become severe for a time from early tomorrow morning through to around midday tomorrow, then ease.

Kapiti Coast: Northwest gales may become severe in exposed places from mid-morning tomorrow through to late afternoon.

- NZ Herald

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