4 Jul 2019

Heavy rain sweeps north as winter chill returns

12:49 pm on 4 July 2019

Rain is setting in for Auckland, Gisborne and Bay of Plenty as a chill sweeps the country following an unusually warm start to July.

Rain pours down in the Auckland CBD.

Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

Heavy rain is forecast across northern and western areas of New Zealand today, and there could be heavy snow to parts of the Gisborne and Hawke's Bay ranges.

MetService said the country was expected to be much colder in the next couple of days after an usually warm start to July.

Some areas in the South Island topped 20°C because of a northerly flow in the last two days but the wind changes to southerly, the temperature will drop to under 10 degrees today in the South Island.

In the Nelson Tasman region, flooding has affected State Highway 6 between Havelock and Nelson and SH65 at Shenandoah was down to one lane due to a washout.

On the West Coast, surface water was causing problems on SH6 at Whataroa and the road from Te Anau to Milford Sound was closed following overnight snow.

MetService said 2cm-4cm of snow was expected to settle near the tunnel there with some reaching down to 800 metres.

MetService has sent warnings about heavy rain in Northland and Auckland from 9am to 4pm today, with deluges of up to 35mm/h.

It was expected to hit Bay of Plenty and the Gisborne ranges even harder and for longer, with about 150mm of rain to fall over 16 hours from 11am, with downpours of up to 40mm/h.

Waitomo and Taumarunui, Hawke's Bay north of Napier, North Taranaki and the Tararua range were also expected to be hit by rain, which could cause streams and rivers to rise rapidly.

Flooding and slips are also possible and driving conditions may be hazardous.

MetService forecaster Micky Malivuk said the rain would ease to showers overnight. MetService said the North Island would start to feel the coldness of winter tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the forecast rain in the Taupō area could add to the town's problems with its wastewater system, which was badly damaged on Tuesday afternoon.

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