Red Warning Extended
MetService has extended the timing of the Red Warnings for Heavy Rain in Buller and Westland as an atmospheric river of warm and moist air continues to bring heavy rain to the South Island’s west coast, and warm, humid conditions to the rest of Aotearoa. Rain moves over the North Island into the weekend as southerlies drop temperatures in the south.
MetService Meteorologist Andrew James says, “There has already been significant rainfall on the West Coast. This weather system brought 123mm to Westport airport in the 24 hours to 9am Thursday, the wettest February day there since records began in 1944. Many other weather stations also recorded huge totals in the same period, with around 380mm at Mueller Hut in Aoraki/Mt Cook National park and 209.2mm at Haast.”
“The severe weather is
still ongoing for some areas and people in these areas need
to remain alert and keep up to date with the forecasts. A
second band of rain is expected to affect the west coast on
Friday , see bit.ly/AllWarnings for
all the details. This is a big weather event - we only issue
Red Warnings when we expect significant impacts and we have
already seen these in slips, power outages and road closures
and a local state of emergency being declared.”
A swathe of Red and Orange Heavy Rain Warnings and Watches remain in force for western and northern South Island. It is recommended that people remain up to date with the latest forecasts as the details may change as new information becomes available.
Towards this long weekend, the front moves slowly northwards and weakens slightly. “We are not expecting the same sorts of rainfall numbers for the North Island, though there is a chance of heavy falls for Taranaki, Taumarunui, Taihape, Tararua district, Kapiti-Horowhenua and Wellington, where Heavy Rain Watches are in force from early Saturday morning. Farther south, the Marlborough Sounds, and Canterbury foothills are also under a watch for heavy rain on Friday and Saturday,” adds James.
This will be welcome news for North Island farmers and growers after a prolonged dry and hot spell. “The first week of February brings more rain to the central and upper North Island than has been seen for the whole of January, though after this week another long dry spell is likely,” says James. “While North Island growers will be pleased with this decent dose of relief, those travelling for Waitangi weekend will need to plan accordingly.”