West Coasters hit by a deluge of heavy rain and thunderstorms
can expect little relief in coming weeks, forecasters say.
The region had been pounded by a series of severe fronts
since the beginning of the year and the weather pattern was
likely to continue, Weatherwatch.co.nz head weather analyst
Philip Duncan said.
Rain and lightning hit the area yesterday.
Although conditions would improve in the coming weeks, the
region would continue to be hit by bad weather.
"Their weather pattern that they've got, they're pretty much
stuck in. At the moment it looks like it might linger for the
rest of the month," Mr Duncan said.
Sunny days in the region would increase to a maximum of three
at a time, with intermittent rainfall between.
"I think we will see plenty of cloud still but the days of
rain are going to start to dry up a wee bit as we get into
the second half of January."
Meanwhile, a front would bring outbreaks of rain or showers
to several parts of the country this week, said MetService
meteorologist Daniel Corbett.
MetService has issued a severe weather warning for the heavy
rain in Taranaki, the Tararua Range, Nelson and Marlborough
and a severe weather watch for Wellington and Buller.
Council flood managers continue to monitor high river and
lake levels in Wakatipu, Wanaka, and Hawea, with further rain
expected on Wednesday.
The rest of the country would continue to experience
spring-like weather, with changeable conditions, as it had
been for the past few weeks.
This was caused by big storms in the Southern Ocean.
Sweltering temperatures in Auckland at the weekend would ease
off this week, Mr Duncan said.
"We've got a refreshing change coming this week. The wind
flow change is a little bit more westerly this week and away
from these warm northerlies."
Highs are expected to drop from the upper to lower 20s.
A cooler southwest flow will spread across the country later
tomorrow, bringing more settled conditions in the north by
the end of the week.
Between January 1 and January 12 Westport received 126.1mm of
rain, Niwa climate research analyst Petra Chappell said.
That compared to 59mm over the same period last year.
The town is already more than three quarters of the way to
its January 2012 total rainfall of 152.6mm and to its January
normal of 158mm.
It's had three extreme weather events in the last fortnight,
including possibly the worst surface flooding in 30 years on
The only West Coast river to exceed its alarm warning was the
Hokitika River, which reached 4.6m at the gorge at 2.30pm.
Its warning level is 3.7m.
The Buller River peaked at 4.9m at Te Kuha at 8.50pm, well
below its warning level of 7.2m. On January 3 it peaked at
- Abby Gillies of APNZ