More rain for already sodden places

April 10, 2017

While the week has been off to a settled start, change is on the way, with rain expected to affect many parts of New Zealand mid-week. A Severe Weather Watch has already been issued for the west of the South Island and parts of the North Island, including Bay of Plenty which was badly affected by flooding last week.

“A northeasterly flow ahead of a low pressure system in the Tasman Sea is causing a lot of very humid, sub-tropical air to be dragged down over the country, bringing the potential for heavy rainfall,” explained MetService Meteorologist Claire Flynn. “The west of the South Island is targeted on Tuesday, before the rain moves onto the North Island on Wednesday and Thursday, when heavy rain could affect many parts of the North Island, especially the already sodden Bay of Plenty.”

MetService are also monitoring Tropical Cyclone Cook, currently a Category 3 cyclone nearing New Caledonia. There is still uncertainty as to the exact track Cyclone Cook will take over the week, but some models have it passing near East Cape bringing more rain and strong winds to the North Island.

“Regardless of how close Cyclone Cook comes to New Zealand, we are still expecting heavy rain to affect many parts of the country due to the sub-tropical air being dragged down by the low coming from the Tasman. However, Cyclone Cook may serve to prolong rainfall in northeastern parts of the country if it does track close to us,” explained Ms Flynn. “Some current computer models suggest that Cyclone Cook could pass close to or over the northeast of the North Island on Thursday night or Friday. However, many other models are suggesting that it will remain further to the east.”

As the final track of the cyclone will have a large influence on our weather, MetService is working closely with Civil Defence and local authorities to ensure that they have the most accurate and up to date information regarding both the heavy rain moving onto New Zealand from Tuesday, and also for Cyclone Cook. TC Cook is expected to cross south of latitude 25S overnight Tuesday into Wednesday. MetService’s Expert Tropical Forecasters are on standby to take over responsibility from Fiji Meteorological Service for issuing warnings associated with the cyclone, as it moves into the Wellington Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre area of responsibility.

The worst of the rain is expected to ease during Friday as we head into Easter weekend, though the weather may still be a bit unsettled. Those planning on travelling for the Easter weekend or involved in outdoor events are advised to keep up to date with MetService Severe Weather Watches and Warnings, and keep an eye on road conditions through http://www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/.

The satellite image and frontal analysis from 6am 10/04/17 shows the Tasman low forming just east of Australia, which is then expected to approach New Zealand tomorrow. In the north, Tropical Cyclone Cook approaches New Caledonia.

Official Severe Weather Watches and Warnings are reviewed and re-issued by MetService at least every twelve hours, and more often if necessary. To get the most up to date information on severe weather around the country, or any other forecasts, see metservice.com or on mobile devices at m.metservice.com. You can also follow our updates on MetService TV, at MetService New Zealand on Facebook@metservice  and @MetServiceWARN on Twitter and at blog.metservice.com

MetService issues Warnings, Watches and Outlooks for severe weather over New Zealand.

Warnings are about taking action when severe weather is imminent or is occurring. They are issued only when required.
Recommendation: ACT 

Watches are about being alert when severe weather is possible, but not sufficiently imminent or certain for a Warning to be issued. They are issued only when required.
Recommendation: BE READY 

Outlooks are about looking ahead, providing advance information on possible future Watches and/or Warnings. They are issued routinely once or twice a day.
Recommendation: PLAN 

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