November 29, 2023

Severe thunderstorm watch for Auckland, Coromandel and Waikato

Related video: Prime Minister Chris Hipkins got a first-hand look at the devastation caused by storms and a cyclone in Coromandel.

There is a chance of severe thunderstorms in Auckland as a “moist air mass” moves across the upper North Island this afternoon bringing heavy rainfall.

A severe thunderstorm watch is in place for Auckland, Coromandel Peninsula and Waikato until 5am Saturday.

“A very moist air mass covers the upper North Island ahead of several fronts approaching from the south,” MetService said.

“There is a low to moderate risk of thunderstorms with heavy rain through the area today and during Saturday morning. In addition, for Auckland, Coromandel Peninsula and northern Waikato there is a moderate risk of localised downpours (25 to 40 mm per hour), whether thunderstorms occur or not, mainly this afternoon and early evening, and again during the early hours of Saturday morning.”

Rainfall of such intensity can cause surface and flash flooding, especially in low-lying areas such as streams, rivers or narrow valleys, and may also lead to slips.

Earlier on Friday, MetService issued several severe weather warnings across the country.

These include an orange heavy rain warning for Bay of Plenty east of Whakatane, Mount Taranaki, Tararua Range, Westland, the headwaters of the Canterbury lakes and rivers about and south of Arthurs Pass and Fiordland north of Dusky Sound.

An orange strong wind warning is also in place for Canterbury High Country until 6pm Friday.

The weather forecasting agency also issued a heavy rain watch for the central plateau of the North Island from Tongariro National Park to the Kaimanawa Range, Buller, and Headwaters of the Otago lakes and rivers.

It comes after several severe weather events caused widespread destruction. Last month Auckland was battered by severe flooding and large parts of the country are still recovering from Cyclone Gabrielle.

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