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A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall (in the east)

A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall (in the east)

A complex trough moving across New Zealand brings a wet weekend, with snow in the hills and buckets of rain for the eastern North Island on Sunday.

A series of fronts sweep the country today as a broad trough moves across New Zealand. Much of the severe weather will be impacting the east of the North Island from Sunday, as a low pressure moving across Auckland today tracks southeast on Sunday, never drifting too far from shore. MetService have issued a heavy rain warning for Hawkes Bay and Gisborne south of Tolaga Bay starting Sunday morning, with watches for heavy falls and possible thunderstorms spreading north into the Bay of Plenty Sunday afternoon. Watches have also been issued for severe gales and snow about the central plateau above 800m on Sunday, as well as heavy snow to 400m for parts of Canterbury and Marlborough from Saturday afternoon. "It's pretty messy across central and northern New Zealand this weekend", reported MetService meteorologist Tom Adams, "but we are paying particular attention to the east where conditions look set to take a turn for the worse on Sunday". Strong southeasterly winds will buffet the east coast as far south as Wellington fromSunday into next week, reaching around 100kph in the Cook Strait.

The national picture this weekend is generally cloudy with rain - or snow in the ranges - although all along the West Coast and the far south gets shelter from the storm, with showers clearing to become a fine but frosty weekend. Colder air moving north is already bringing snow to the hills, with several southern ski fields already reporting a top-up. In the far south a ridge moves on, which will bring more settled conditions to the lower South Island into next week. The three main centres will all see spells of rain, with a moderate chance of thunderstorms in Auckland on Sunday.

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