Weather fears ease in North Island

Fears about weather chaos over the North Island have eased this afternoon with the Metservice lifting a dozen severe weather warnings, leaving only the Bay of Plenty subject to a rain warning.

A front which was forecast to blast the top of the North Island today and tomorrow is moving off without causing any damage, MetService meteorologist Marylin Avery said today.

However, the remainder of an associated rainband with thunderstorms was expected to affect the Bay of Plenty east of Te Puke this afternoon, she said. The ranges east of Whakatane were to expect a further 60 to 90 millimetres before 6pm.

Intensities were predicted to reach 25mm per hour or more in a thunderstorm.

A warning remained that rivers and streams in that area could rise and surface flooding and slips were also possible.

Previous warnings for the Northland, Coromandel Peninsula and Bay of Plenty, Auckland, Waikato, Taupo, Gisborne, Taranaki, Nelson, Buller, Westland and Fiordland were all lifted today. Those were all associated with the rainband which is no longer in those areas, Avery said.

Once the rainband had moved off altogether, the North Island would be left with a trough full of patchy showers, which in turn should track east this evening, Avery said.

The pattern was very traditional for New Zealand's springtime, she said.

"We are getting back to the predominant Westerly regime, which is our spring equinoxal weather."

Fog which delayed domestic flights in and out of Auckland Airport for a short time this morning lifted by 9am, though some of the delays resulted in schedule disruptions for the rest of the day.

The only marine areas subject to warnings today were Auckland areas of Hauraki, Manukau and Bream Head to Cape Coleville where winds were forecast at 25 knots gusting to 35.

- Herald on Sunday

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