Archive for March, 2019

Short Dose of Heavy Rain Set to Add to the Huge West Coast Accumulations recorded last week

March 31, 2019

The west coast of the South Island is no stranger to wet weather but a frontal system which passed over the country early this week delivered a huge amount of rain to the area, even by their standards.

Heavy rain affected the South Island West Coast early in the week before the front moved onto the North Island on Wednesday. Franz Josef station recorded 419mm of rain in a day and a half – almost as much as its normal March monthly rainfall or five times what Auckland would normally get in March. The Waiho River bridge fell victim to the swollen torrent caused by this exceptional rain.

The latter half of the week saw markedly drier conditions for the South Island and lower North Island with a ridge of high pressure moving over, while more showery conditions prevailed further north as the front lingered there.

As we head into the first week of April, the whole country sees a shift back to changeable conditions with another front forecast to move over the far south late tonight and the rest of the country into tomorrow bringing another burst of rain and strong northwest winds. Heavy rain is expected over the west coast of the South Island again, though due to the system moving much more rapidly over the area, accumulations, though substantial, are expected to be much lower than earlier this week. For more information on the regions most likely to be affected see our current watches and warnings here

Localised downpours are also possible over inland and western regions of the North Island from Manawatu to Auckland tomorrow as the front the moves north during afternoon and evening. This front also ushers in the change to cooler weather with maximum temperature expected to drop as much as 10C into mid-week.

Warnings are about taking action:

  • When severe weather is imminent or is occurring
  • 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
  • Issued only when required
  • Recommendation: BE READY

Outlooks are about looking ahead:

  • To provide advance information on possible future Watches and/or Warnings
  • Issued routinely once or twice a day
  • Recommendation: PLAN


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