20 May 2024

Weather: Civil Defence watching as warnings issued over heavy rain, thunderstorms

12:48 pm on 20 May 2024
Cars in heavy rain

Thunderstorms are possible for Northland, Auckland, Coromandel, Bay of Plenty and Gisborne. Photo: 123rf

Heavy rain and thunderstorms are forecast to lash parts of the North Island from Monday afternoon.

There has been a heavy rain watch in place for Northland from midday. Thunderstorms are also possible from Monday evening.

Northland Civil Defence said it was monitoring the situation.

The Far North District Council said its roading contractors would monitor flood-prone sites on Monday and would start checking drains if the weather watch was upgraded to a warning.

However, heavy rain was expected to be widespread across the country later in the day, MetService meteorologist Ngaire Wotherspoon said.

Heavy rain watches have been issued for Auckland, Coromandel Peninsula, Bay of Plenty west of Kawerau, and Rotorua for Monday night, with risk of thunderstorms.

There is also a heavy rain watch in place for Gisborne, from Tuesday util 6pm Wednesday.

A warning - which is a higher category than a watch - has already been issued for Hawke's Bay, for 36 hours from early Tuesday morning till 6pm Wednesday. MetService said streams and rivers could rise, with the possibility of slips and surface flooding.

And from later on Tuesday heading into Wednesday, Wairarapa and Tararua districts have heavy rain watches in place.

The watches could be upgraded to warnings, MetService said, and more areas could be affected.

Rain forecast - weather, MetService

Heavy rain watches are spread across the North Island. Photo: MetService

The government is changing rules to make it easier for lines companies to remove trees near powerlines, to prevent outages during high winds and storms.

The move would ensure the power stayed on, particularly during severe weather events, Energy Minister Simeon Brown said. The changes will come into effect in September.

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