7 May 2015

Wild weather sweeping northwards

5:14 pm on 7 May 2015

The front that swamped the West Coast of the South Island is moving across the lower North Island towards Taranaki, bringing heavy rain with it.

The Len Lye Wind Wand sculpture bows to the strong northeasterly in New Plymouth.

The Len Lye Wind Wand sculpture bows to the strong northeasterly in New Plymouth. GALLERY: More images of the storm Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

Up to 550mm of rain fell in the ranges of Westland and up to 150mm near the coast in a 24 hour period.

Overnight, the Wellington region was buffeted with rain and wind gusts of up to 140 kilometres an hour.

The Taranaki Regional Council said between 7pm last night and 12.30pm today 212 mm of rain had fallen at Dawson Falls on the southern slopes of Mt Taranaki while 198mm fell at the North Egmont Visitors Centre.

In New Plymouth 28.5 mm had fallen while 64.5 mm fell at Inglewood.

The rain was expected to ease through the day and the council is not aware of any major flooding issues.

Civil Defence authorities and the New Plymouth Fire Service were monitoring the situational but had not received any calls from people requiring assistance.

Waiho River,Franz Josef

Waiho River at Franz Josef, West Coast. Photo: NZTA / Twitter

Abandoned umbrella as Wellington rain and wind hits hard.

Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

The worst of the weather had passed the West Coast by this morning, but forecaster Sarah Garlick said an unstable north-westerly airstream would bring more rain.

"Within that at times it could be heavy as well, so it's not a big clearance and end to the weather down there.

"They're going to be getting still a decent amount of rain for the next few days but nothing like the amounts we've had over the last 24 to 36 hours."

Federated Farmers West Coast dairy section chair Renee Rooney said the downpour has come at a bad time for farmers.

"We have had a colossal amount of rain, definitely not what we wanted heading into the tail end of the season, that's for sure.

"It could mean a shortened milking season for some farmers I think."

Grey District mayor Tony Kokshoorn said council workers were on "red alert" over the forecast rain. "But in the end it fell in a way that was more consistent and it drained away so it wasn't too bad overall."

Waves crash over the breakwater at Port Taranaki.

Waves crash over the breakwater at Port Taranaki Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

Commuters battle the horizontal wind and rain leaving Wellington Train Station.

Wind and rain squalls made heading to work miserable for Wellingtonians Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson