Severe thunderstorm watch issued for Auckland, Waikato

Fri, Mar 17
Severe thunderstorms could hit Auckland, Waikato and the Coromandel this afternoon.

A severe thunderstorm watch has been issued by MetService for Auckland, Waikato and the Coromandel as a "moist air mass" sweeps across the upper North Island this afternoon.

MetService said there is a "low to moderate risk" of thunderstorms with heavy rain through the area today into Saturday morning.

Auckland, Coromandel and Waikato may also see downpours of between 25mm to 40mm/h at various stages between now and Saturday morning.

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

"Driving conditions will also be hazardous with surface flooding and poor visibility in heavy rain."

Several other regions are also set to be hit by wild weather this afternoon and into the weekend.

In the North Island, heavy rain warnings have been issued for the Bay of Plenty east of Whakatāne, Mount Taranaki, and the Tararua Ranges.

In the Bay of Plenty, 80mm to 100mm of rain is expected between 4pm Friday and 11am Saturday.

"Peak rates of 15 to 25 mm/h expected overnight and Saturday morning," MetService said.

Eighty to 120mm of rain is expected between 9am Friday and 6am Saturday for the Tararua Ranges, while a deluge of 200mm to 250mm of rain is expected to pound Mt Taranaki between 9am Friday and 5am Saturday.

The Bay of Plenty west of Whakatāne and the central plateau of the North Island are also under heavy rain watches. MetService warn there could be periods of heavy rain between now and tomorrow morning.

In the South Island, the West Coast is under a heavy rain warning between 9am and 8pm Friday.

"Expect another 100 to 150 mm of rain in the ranges, but possibly 200 mm near the Glaciers, and 50 to 80 mm near the coast," MetService said.

A heavy rain warning is also in place for the headwaters of the Canterbury lakes and rivers about and south of Arthur's Pass over the same period.

"Expect another 100 to 150 mm of rain on the main divide, and 60 to 100 mm within 15 km east of the divide," MetService said.

A strong wind warning is also in place for the Canterbury high country between 9am and 6pm Friday, with peak gusts possibly reaching 120km/h.

"Strong wind gusts could damage trees, powerlines and unsecured structures. Driving may be hazardous, especially for high-sided vehicles and motorcycles," MetService warned.


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