April 12, 2010

MetService has updated warnings for heavy rain for Fiordland and extended these to cover Westland and the headwaters of the Otago and Canterbury lakes and rivers on Tuesday.

“A frontal rain band is expected to weaken as it heads north,” commented MetService Weather Ambassador, Bob McDavitt.  “Heavy rain from this system has been falling in Fiordland since Sunday night and a further 200 mm may accumulate there during Monday and Tuesday, with 100 to 150 mm reaching the Southern Alps.”

This amount of rain has the potential to cause flooding and slips.  People enjoying the school holidays and camping in the South Island are reminded that alpine-fed streams and rivers may rise rapidly even if there is little rain being experienced locally. “Keep an eye on nearby river levels and keep up to date with the latest MetService weather warnings and forecasts” said McDavitt.

MetService is maintaining a Special Weather Watch on heavy rain and strong winds for central parts of the country on Tuesday.   “Tuesday afternoon and evening is the most likely timing for peaks in the wind and rain in the region from Nelson to Taranaki, and from North Canterbury to Wellington and Wairarapa,” said McDavitt.  “There may also be some squally thunderstorms with this front. Driving conditions are likely to deteriorate as the front passes through.”

People in the dry areas around Nelson and from Taupo northwards may be looking forward to this rain.  However, McDavitt said that “most rain will be on the high ground, and low-lying areas may only get between 5 and 25 mm, followed by another 5 to 10mm from passing showers in a cool southwest flow until the weekend.”

“This is of some use, but these regions really need around 100 mm spread out over a week to stimulate a proper autumn flush of pasture growth,” McDavitt added.

For further information please contact:
Bob McDavitt       Weather Ambassador           (09)377 4831

(C) Copyright Meteorological Service of New Zealand Ltd 2010

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