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Rain Sometimes Heavy

Issued at 01:19pm 19-Dec-2006
Rain Sometimes Heavy

MetService meteorologists have issued a heavy rain warning for thundery downpours tonight and on Wednesday north of a line from Taranaki to Ruapehu to East Cape. In contrast, forecasters expect cold southerlies to spread from Canterbury to Gisborne.

"A low-pressure system is forecast to cross the North Island on Wednesday morning and then deepen near Chatham Islands on Thursday," said MetService Weather Ambassador, Bob McDavitt. "Humidity levels are already high. Monday afternoon's sudden downpour in Rotorua reached an intensity of about 18mm per hour and more events with rainfall rates of around 30 mm per hour are being forecast as this system travels across the North Island."

"This is a change to our recent weather pattern. So far this month MetService's rain gauge at Cape Reinga has had only 5mm of rain, so Northland farmers will welcome more rainfall so long as it doesn't get too intense."

"During Wednesday a southerly wind change is forecast to sweep across the South Island. These southerlies will be cold enough to bring some snow to the hills in time for Christmas, and strong enough to bring a brief period of gales to the Canterbury coast. This will be our last southerly of the year and it may last several days."

McDavitt added that settled weather with an incoming anticyclone is forecast to spread over much of the country this weekend, just in time for those planning long journeys in the lead up to Christmas Day. "There is still a wide range of possibilities for the weather for Christmas Day. Keep up to date with the latest forecast."

ENDS

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