Wet weather to continue across NZ

By Kieran Campbell

Some of the rain drenching the North Island may clear for patches of sunshine today as the wet weather system continues to cross the country, a weather analyst says.

A severe weather warning remains in place for the North Island and the northwest of the South Island, where residents are being told to be prepared for the chance of flash flooding.

MetService says rain should begin to ease in the Bay of Plenty this morning and in Gisborne this afternoon.

Heavy rain is expected to continue through the afternoon.

WeatherWatch.co.nz analyst Richard Green said today's weather would be dominated by "drizzly showers".

However, he said "brighter spells can't be completely ruled out either".

"That doesn't mean pockets of persistent or heavy showery falls won't be in the picture either but they're likely to be fairly localised and not long lasting," he said.

Strong winds are expected to build across the country today.

"It'll certainly become pretty windy and not that pleasant for those in the middle of it outdoors this afternoon," Mr Green said.

Federated Farmers Bay of Plenty president John Scrimgeour told Radio New Zealand the drought had broken in his district.

He said there had been a psychological boost for farmers with more than 100mm of rain having fallen in some areas.

Mr Scrimgeour said rain falling in Bay of Plenty could mean reasonable grass growth in the next few months.

Some inland areas such as Galatea, near Whakatane, were still missing out on the rainfall.

"It doesn't seem to have stretched inland to there sufficiently."

"The forecast is pretty unsettled for the next week or so, so we're hopeful more rain will get in there."

He said the rainfall would be enough to prompt "reasonable growth over the next month or two".

"We'd have preferred a month or two earlier so we had more opportunity but it's still enough to make a difference."

The rainfall was not causing any problems with run-off to date.

"There's been no evidence of that this time, it's been sinking in very well."

He said few Bay of Plenty farmers had moved stock off their land during the dry period because "there hasn't been places for them to go".

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