Posted: 05 March 2009
Gale, heavy rain warnings for Northland
Northlanders are being urged to keep a close eye on the weather today with forecasters predicting severe gale force winds and heavy rain.
MetService forecasters today warned north-easterly winds could reach severe gale level – gusting up to 120 kilometres an hour - for a time between 10am and 9pm today.
Claire Nyberg, a Northland Regional Council Civil Defence Officer, says winds of this strength could damage trees, powerlines and insecure roofs and make driving hazardous for high-sided vehicles and motorcyclists.
The Council’s Regional Harbourmaster, Ian Niblock, has also warned boaties to make sure their vessels are secure.
Meanwhile, the MetService has today also issued a heavy rain warning for the region, saying rain is expected to be heavy at times until early Friday morning.
The MetService says in the 18 to 21 hours from 9am today, 80 to 120mm of rain is likely, with 150mm expected in parts of the eastern hills north of Whangarei.
“Rainfall rates are likely to peak at 20 to 30mm per hour from late afternoon.”
Ms Nyberg says if the rain falls in the amounts predicted, Northlanders should keep an eye on river and stream levels and watch for possible surface flooding in usual places.
She also advises people to keep up to date with the latest weather forecasts and warnings.
Ms Nyberg says officials will keep a close watch on the weather as it develops.