Wind and rain tipped to sweep country

By Vaimoana Tapaleao, Susan Strongman

Get your umbrellas out - or maybe raincoats would be better - as heavy rain and windy conditions are forecast in much of the country today.

The MetService issued several weather warnings and watches yesterday, some of which were lifted later.

Weather forecaster Fulong Lu said a large low pressure system would bring periods of rain - heavy in some areas - to much of the country, as well as strong winds to the top half of the North Island.

Aucklanders have an expected high of 17C and an overnight low of 12C. Strong westerly winds are forecast, with gusts of up to 90km/h and showers gradually easing throughout the day.

The heaviest rainfall is expected to be in the Tararua Ranges and there is a heavy rain watch in place for the central North Island until about midday.

Mr Lu said there was also brief heavy rain forecast on the Kapiti Coast and northern Wellington, the latter of which is also expected to see strong winds.

Those in Wellington are in for a high of 13C and showers - with a possibility of heavy rain - until midday.

In and around Hamilton and the Waikato, there is a high of 16C and an overnight low of 10C expected. Further north, in Whangarei, there is also a chance of heavy rain, with showers gradually easing.

Weather conditions are, however, expected to improve later this afternoon through to the evening, when the low pressure system is set to move east of the country.

That would see winds and rain easing and making way for a better day tomorrow, Mr Lu said.

The MetService issued heavy rain warnings in eastern areas of North Otago and Dunedin yesterday, where people were warned that rain levels of between 40 to 60mm could cause rivers and streams to rise and slips and surface flooding to occur.

Christchurch has a forecast high of 12C and occasional rain. Nelson has only a few morning showers and then sunny periods and Invercargill will get a cloudy day with a few showers and a high of 10C.

Yesterday's strong winds saw all lanes on the State Highway 5 Napier-Taupo Rd closed for some time in the afternoon, after the trailer of a truck was blown over in high winds.

No one was injured, police said.

Main centres outlook

Whangarei: Showers, chance heavy. High 18C.

Auckland: Showers and strong winds. 17C.

Tauranga: Rain, chance heavy. 16C.

Hamilton: Rain, chance heavy. 16C.

Wellington: Showers/rain. 13C.

Christchurch: Few showers. 12C.

Dunedin: Cloudy, few showers. 10C.

Invercargill: Cloudy with occasional rain. 10C.

Source: MetService

- NZ Herald

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