The tail end of a wet and windy storm continues to lash the top of the North Island this afternoon while the south braces for a chilly snap.

While the most persistent rain fronts have passed through, heavy showers are the flavour of day for most of the North Island, says the MetService, with some thunderstorms possible.

Wild weather caused havoc across the country yesterday and through the night, with slips blocking roads, trees falling on vehicles in South Auckland and Whakatāne, and strong winds downing power lines, while a house in Hastings had its roofing iron lifted by the winds.

Downpours in Auckland around midnight – with 15-25mm in just one hour in parts of the city - caused flooding inside a house in Remuera as well as on Mt Eden Rd and in Māngere.


MetService meteorologist Tui McInnes said smaller, weaker fronts will pass through the North Island this afternoon, bringing bursts of rain.

"As the days go on, that will ease off and gradually the weather will start to fine up."

But it's a different story for the south where a southerly change will bring a dive in temperatures later today.

Forecasters expect eastern areas to get cool temperatures and some rain, and Canterbury and Otago high country areas to get snow dumps tonight and tomorrow, with frosts possible in some areas.

The South Island's main routes through the mountains could get dustings of snow over the next 24 hours-plus, according to MetService.

But Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency says it shouldn't prove too disruptive for road users.

Snow is expected to affect the Lewis Pass tomorrow, with forecasters saying 1cm - 3cm of snow possibly settling on the road above 800m between 2am and 4pm. Snow flurries could follow, while snow showers are expected to affect Arthur's Pass tomorrow morning.

Porters Pass could get 1cm – 3cm of snow above 800m overnight, while Lindis Pass could see up to 1cm of snow settle above 700m.


Snow showers are also expected to affect the Crown Range tomorrow, with forecasters saying 1-2cm of snow could settle on the road above 700m from 1am - 3pm.

Snow could also dust mountains at around 1000m in the lower North Island.

A slip at Inangahua closed off access at that end of the Lower Buller Gorge yesterday.

NZTA crew monitored the slips overnight to make sure the route remained safe.

"Today and yesterday there were many little slips and debris flows to clean up," says Moira Whinham, maintenance contract manager.

"Thanks to all drivers for taking care and slowing down on the surface flooded roads."

A slip at Inangahua closed off access at that end of the Lower Buller Gorge yesterday. Photo / Supplied
A slip at Inangahua closed off access at that end of the Lower Buller Gorge yesterday. Photo / Supplied

The much-needed downpours over the weekend have made almost no difference to Auckland's dams.

Auckland's water supplier, Watercare, welcomed yesterday's rain but says the drought is far from over with the city's water storage dams still severely depleted.

Heavy squally showers delivered in 59mm of rainfall in the Hūnua Ranges – home to the four largest dams – and 21.5mm in the Waitakere Ranges.

But the rain saw the total water storage level in the city's dams rise less than 1 per cent - from 45.8 per cent to 46.5 per cent.

Watercare chief executive Raveen Jaduram said every drop of rain was welcome but warned the weekend's weather did not alter the overall drought picture.

"We need consistent rainfall over many months to make a real impact on our dam levels," Jaduram said.

"The weekend rain brought us just two days' grace, so we're still facing the possibility of water restrictions."

In the past month, the Hūnua Ranges has received a total of 62mm, compared to a historical average of 135mm. The Waitākere Ranges have also had less than half the usual amount of rain.

Residents in the drought-hit region are still being asked to conserve water as last month the total volume of water stored in the region's dams dropped below the halfway mark for the first time in more than 25 years.

Watercare is continuing to urge Aucklanders to take up the four-minute shower challenge and avoid outdoor use.

"Lots of small changes in behaviour, like deferring water blasting, makes a real difference," Jaduram said.

"We know that because yesterday everyone stayed inside because of the rain and water use fell by 20 million litres across the region. Imagine if we could do that every day."

More rain showers are forecast over coming days, but indications are this is likely to be much less than normal for this time of year.

Watercare is continuing with a drought awareness campaign, which includes radio and digital advertising and social media messaging. Cutting shower times from eight to four minutes would reduce water usage by 80 million litres a day.

Downpours in Auckland around midnight caused flooding inside a house in Lochiel Rd in Remuera as well as on Mt Eden Rd and in Māngere.

MetService meteorologist Rob Kerr said between 10pm Sunday and 1am Monday a band of heavy rain brought downpours of 15-25mm in just one hour to parts of the city. Just 6mm an hour is considered heavy rain.

Drought-stricken also received a decent amount of rain - with Kerikeri getting 45.6mm, mostly between 10am and 10pm. However, Whangarei only saw 15mm and Kaitaia barely got 11mm.

"We know Northland is obviously pretty dry and in need of some rain and hopefully this will bring some relief at least to those empty water tanks up there," says MetService meteorologist Tom Adams.


Auckland: 20C
Hamilton: 19C
Wellington: 16C
Christchurch: 20C
Dunedin: 18C