Downpours, gales, huge swells for North Island as ‘atmospheric river’ bears down

Downpours and gales are set to lash the North Island on the weekend as an ‘atmospheric river’ brings warm, wet weather to many areas.

Heavy rain and strong wind watches are in place for Auckland and the surrounding regions from late Saturday through until Monday.

MetService meteorologist Jessie Owen said the upper North Island would bear the brunt of the rain first, before it headed down the country and into the west coast of the South Island next week.

“The whole upper North Island will be in for a wet Sunday,” she said.

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Warm air from the tropics would also bring an end to the chilly temperatures in the north.

The change would be particularly noticeable after the cold days we’d experienced already this week, Owen said.

“It’s going to be warmer, and It’s going to be moist.”

A heavy rain watch is in place for Northland for 42 hours from 9pm Saturday to 3pm Monday, while in Auckland north of the Harbour Bridge, it is in force from 3am to 6pm Sunday.

The Coromandel Peninsula has a heavy rain watch from 6am Sunday to 3pm Monday.

MetService said rainfall amounts may approach the criteria needed to issue a warning.

It’s going to be a wet, sticky and windy Sunday for the North Island. (File photo)


It’s going to be a wet, sticky and windy Sunday for the North Island. (File photo)

The pounding rain could also extend further into Monday, it said.

Easterly gales were also expected for exposed places, with a strong wind watch in force for Northland from 12am Sunday to 12pm Monday and for Auckland, about and north of Whangaparāoa, from 6am Sunday to 3pm Monday.

The strong winds would bring large swells to the coast and Bay of Plenty could also be in the firing line for heavy rain, Owen said.

The culprit is a low-pressure system headed to Aotearoa from the tropics, which is bringing warm, wet air with it.

By Sunday night, the whole of the North Island would see overnight temperatures in the mid to high teens, Owen said.

“We are not going to be seeing that much cooling between day and night, It’s going to feel quite sticky overnights.”

The southern part of the West Coast would see showers throughout the weekend, but the rest of the South Island should remain dry.

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