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Sodden Southerly Saturates Central NZ

24-Oct-2006

Sodden Southerly Saturates Central NZ

(corrected edition -- Thunderstorms on Tuesday afternoon, not Monday afternoon)

The low-pressure system that deepened over the North Island on Labour Day is slowly moving off to the southeast.

"This low has saturated the soils all over central New Zealand," commented MetService Weather Ambassador, Bob McDavitt. "Rain is forecast to ease overnight tonight, but ponding and surface water have already appeared in low-lying areas, and further slips are likely. A fresh dusting of snow may settle on the tops of the Kaikoura Mountains overnight."

"That's not all. The air rotating around this system is unstable and thunderstorms are likely to be heavy in the north on Tuesday afternoon. We estimate a high risk in the Auckland area of associated downpours and hail until dark."

During the long weekend MetService rain gauges in the populated areas around Wairarapa and from Wellington to Taranaki measured mainly between 40 to 50 millimetres(mm). Wanganui Airport had 55mm, Palmerston North had 91mm, and an Horizons MW Regional Council gauge at Mangahao (near Shannon) had 187mm. The Taranaki Regional Council gauge at Patea reported 95mm and a top reading of 217mm came from their gauge at North Egmont on the north side of Mount Taranaki.

McDavitt added that this weather system has helped the North Island to achieve its monthly average rainfall, as targeted in the seasonal forecast.

ENDS


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