MetService Auckland weather: September 30th.
Heavy rain is drenching Auckland and other North Island areas – with one highway closed by a slip.
State Highway 35 between Opotiki and Te Araroa in the Bay of Plenty remains closed after multiple slips early this morning.
“The road is likely to remain closed for several hours. Please avoid the area and consider using SH2 as an alternate route,” NZTA said in an update.
As the school holidays dawn on the country it’s bad news for holidaymakers fleeing to the Coromandel, Bay of Plenty or East Cape – and it’s not much better for Aucklanders staying home.
MetService duty forecaster Sonja Farmer said most of the North Island was set for rain on Saturday, heavy in the north and east.
The national meteorological service has issued heavy rain warnings for Coromandel and Bay of Plenty from Te Puke westward, for 27 hours from 3am Saturday to 6am Sunday.
Between 100mm and 130mm of rain is expected, peaking at 10mm to 20mm per hour.
A similar “orange” warning is in place for Bay of Plenty, east of Te Puke and Gisborne north of Tolaga Bay, for 24 hours from Friday with up to 170mm expected, MetService predicts.
The highest rates of rainfall will be in the ranges east of Whakatāne, meteorologists believe.
The forecaster also issued a heavy rain watch for Northland, Auckland and Great Barrier Island for 31 hours from 1pm Friday, with periods of heavy rain possibly approaching warning criteria.
A heavy rain watch is in place for 18 hours from 1pm Friday for Gisborne from Tolaga Bay southwards, also Hawke’s Bay north of Napier.
The rain would ease for most of the North Island on Sunday.
“For the North Island over Sunday we’ve got rain and showers with heavy falls possible, easing for most but continuing in the Wairarapa, so we’ve still got that rain coming down the east coast of the island,” Farmer said.
So why is the rain hanging around most of the weekend rather than blowing through?
“We’ve got low pressure coming down from the northwest towards the country, but over the Tasman Sea and over the South Island,” Farmer said.
“And also to the east of the North Island we have high pressure and that quite often slows down the movement of the low-pressure systems, which makes them slow moving, which accounts for that intensity.”
Normally when a front comes through, especially from the South Island, it could sweep through quite quickly, Farmer explained.
But if there was a high-pressure front that it would bump up against and slow it down, the rain-bearing front would be around longer than it might normally, she said.
The extended forecast for Monday still brings possible showers for most of the North Island and rain in the south and east of the island, possibly heavy.
“Those heavy falls are moving away from the north of the island and hanging around the south and the east,” Farmer said.
“So the north and the west probably getting a bit better on Monday.”
The weekend forecast is much better for the South Island.
Dunedin and Christchurch can both look forward to a clear Saturday with a high of 12C, though morning frosts are possible.
Fine days with highs around 10C are also in store for Saturday in Queenstown, Invercargill and Stewart Island.