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Still dry in the north and east of the country

Still dry in the north and east of the country, but heavy rain fell in Westland

Much of the past week saw an area of high pressure to the north of the North Island, which brought mostly settled weather across northern New Zealand. Unfortunately, there was little or no precipitation over Northland, Auckland, Coromandel Peninsula, Bay of Plenty as well as Gisborne and Hawkes Bay.

MetService meteorologist Andy Best commented, “A cold front moved northwards over the lower North Island Thursday morning. This brought some showers on a cool southerly change.” He continued “Most of the rain recorded was over the Tararua and Ruahine ranges, with some stations recording between 20 and 40mm with the front, but the volcanic plateau only recorded around 10mm, with places such as Levin and Palmerston North received less than 10mm.”

The West Coast of the South Island remained under the influence of a humid northwest airstream for much of last week. This brought significant amounts of rain to Westland as a warm front moved south over the coast Thursday night and into Friday. MetService issued a Severe Weather Warning for Heavy Rain associated with this event, and over 200mm of rain was recorded in some gauges on the West Coast.

Eastern parts of the South Island had mainly fine conditions from the middle of the week, apart from areas of low cloud about the east coast which cleared in the afternoons but returned late in the evenings. Eastern parts had rain or drizzle on Friday as a warm front moved southwards across the region, typical rainfall totals were around 15mm at both Banks Peninsula and Oamaru, while Christchurch airport recorded 10mm.

Looking to the week ahead, Monday is likely to see isolated showers over northwestern and eastern parts of the North Island, otherwise it’s fine. While the South Island looks fine, apart from afternoon showers kicking off inland. On Tuesday, expect just isolated showers north of the North Island volcanoes, while the South Island sees low cloud and possible drizzle in the east and a few afternoon showers inland. Finally, on Wednesday the North Island sees cloudy periods, with isolated afternoon showers in the north. Mostly cloudy conditions are forecast for the South Island, with showers developing in the southwest and isolated afternoon showers elsewhere.

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