The worst of the weather isn’t over yet – more heavy rain is on the horizon on Thursday.
Up north, heavy rain warnings were in effect overnight for the Coromandel Peninsula and Northland. The warning in Northland was in place until 6am Thursday, while the Coromandel’s warning was in effect until 11pm.
“In addition to the 50 to 70 mm that have already accumulated expect a further 140 to 180 mm,” MetService said in its warning for the Coromandel Peninsula.
There was also a strong wind warning in effect overnight till 5am for Auckland, including Great Barrier Island. A heavy rain watch was also in place through till 9am.
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On the east coast of the North Island, a heavy rain warning was in effect for Bay of Plenty west of Matata, through till 9am Friday.
“Expect 140 to 200 mm of rain to accumulate. Peak rates of 10 to 20 mm/h expected,” MetService said.
“Note that this warning may be extended since further bursts of heavy rain are possible during the remainder of Friday and into Saturday.”
Heavy rain warnings are also in effect in the South Island, for Tasman northwest of Motueka through till 11am Friday and the ranges of Westland south of Otira through till 4am Friday.
Holiday and festival plans thrown into disarray
On Wednesday, the Thames-Coromandel District Council told locals and visitors to “err on the side of caution” and seek safety in a secure location – or even head home.
“The accumulation of rain by Saturday could see surface flooding, slips, road closures and power issues, so it is worth hatching a plan today to ensure no-one is stuck or isolated,” Thames-Coromandel Civil Defence Controller Garry Towler said earlier.
Stuff understands many people packed up and left Cooks Beach as rain poured down on the Coromandel campsite. Meanwhile, in Northland, Whangaruru Beachfront Camp and Motel owner Robynne Cooper on Wednesday said “hardly anyone is left” after strong winds and rain hit the campsite.
Others have found themselves out of pocket due to the weather too. A Coromandel tour operator has had to cancel hundreds of summer bookings due to the weather warnings, and two Wellington siblings are $1000 down after a festival was cancelled less than 24 hours from kick-off.
Wet weather across the motu
MetService forecaster Aidan Pyselman said almost nowhere would escape the bad weather this week.
The culprit is a low – a region of air that spirals inwards, bringing wet and windy weathers – sitting in the north of the Tasman Sea.
It can’t progress and move away from New Zealand because a high pressure system east of the Chatham Islands has “kind of just parked” there, blocking the low from moving.
It means wet weather across the motu for at least the rest of the week, and potentially next week too.
“The top of the country is seeing the worst of it at this stage,” Pyselman said.
“There might be some reprieve in the north on Saturday, and it looks like we’ve got another little low starting up early next week.”