Rain to continue, but worst of weather should be over
The wet start to 2016 looks set to continue for another day or so, but the worst appears to be over for Northland.
The latest MetService forecasts predict another 60-80mm of rain in the 21 hours from 9am today until 6am tomorrow in northern and eastern parts of Northland, with another 30-50mm possible in remaining areas. Maximum hourly rainfall rates are predicted to be 15-20mm overnight and early Sunday morning.
The Northland Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Group says the wet weather which has brought more than an entire month's worth of rain to parts of the region in the past couple of days is finally expected to ease tomorrow morning.
Group spokesperson Victoria Randall says the heaviest of the rainfall still to come is likely overnight and early tomorrow, but the amount now predicted is not expected to create any unforeseen problems.
"People should continue to check the latest weather forecasts themselves for the next day or two and Civil Defence will monitor the situation and update the public if required, but at this stage there's no cause for concern."
Ms Randall says over the past 36 hours, several hundred customers in the region had been without power for up to several hours after trees brought down power lines and there had been surface flooding in a few spots, but overall Northland appeared to have escaped any serious weather-related issues.
"That's not to say it hasn't been a pretty miserable couple of days for a lot of people, especially those camping," she says. "For those hardy people still camping in spots they're unfamiliar with, the advice to keep an eye on river and stream levels for the next day or so remains."
Northland Regional Council figures show between 6pm New Year's Eve and 11am today several eastern parts of the region had already received more rain than they would typically receive for the entire month of January.
Since 6pm New Year's Eve, Oakura had received 167mm rain compared to the 106mm it usually received for all of an average January. The Ngunguru area had received 154.5mm over the same period (its January average is 137mm), and the Whangaroa Coast east of Kaeo 129mm (just over its 127mm January average).
Between 6pm New Year’s Eve and 11am today, 106.6mm had fallen at the Marsden Pt oil refinery, 87mm at Whangarei airport and 75mm at Kerikeri.
In contrast just 11.5mm had fallen over the same period at Kaitaia and 16.4mm at Dargaville.
Ms Randall says information on weather and other events can be found on the Northland CDEM Group’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/civildefencenorthland
General Civil Defence information is also available from the Northland Regional Council’s website www.nrc.govt.nz/civildefence