A slow-moving trough has trenched over New Zealand’s North Island in the past week, with 300mm of rain falling in the Hawke’s Bay area alone — and another 100mm expected over the next 24 hours.
The torrential downpours have caused slips on major roads, sewage to flow onto the streets, and extra work for farmers as crop fields have been submerged.
North Island Resident Dawson Bliss, who has been driving the Napier-Taupo Road for 50 years, said conditions were the worst he had ever seen them.
“Even for me, I was scared. Water was coming down the hills in waves almost,” Bliss said.
Napier has recorded 61mm of rain over the last few days, which is more rain than typically falls in the whole month.
The wet weather continues for the eastern North Island 💧💧💧
Napier has recorded 61 mm of rain so far this week, which is more rain than typically falls in the whole month.
⚠️ Watch for areas of flooding & slips across Hawke's Bay where heavy rain will continue tomorrow! pic.twitter.com/1rrSyh6ZGC
— NIWA Weather (@NiwaWeather) September 5, 2018
The raft of cool southerlies currently battering the country is set to worsen further as a “complex low” draws up brutally cold air from down south.
The rain coming up and over Central Plateau is already falling as heavy snow on the mountains and ranges — white out conditions are being reported as snow and fog reduce visibility.
Severe weather watches are in place for heavy snow and rain.
— Snow.Guide (@thesnowguide) September 5, 2018
It’s been a different story for the South Island, where calm, sunny days are giving way to cold nights with below-average temperatures and severe ground frosts.
The North Island’s extreme conditions are the lingering effects of NZ’s Polar Blast that closed Ski Fields and Ferry Crossings.