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Heavy rain and wind due as ex-cyclone aims for New Zealand

Published: 10:52AM Saturday December 22, 2012 Source: ONE News

The northern parts of New Zealand can expect wet and windy weather over the next few days, including Christmas, thanks to a deep low - the remnants of former Cyclone Evan.

The cyclone devastated parts of Samoa and Fiji earlier this week.

Metservice has issued a severe weather watch for Northland, Auckland, the Coromandel Peninsula, Bay of Plenty, and Gisborne.

The meteorologists report that the storm is expected to move "just north of the North Island on Monday and direct a warm moist airmass of tropical origin onto the North Island".

The low is forecast to move into the northern Tasman Sea late on Christmas Eve and early on Christmas Day.

"The low is likely to bring very humid subtropical air onto the northeast of the North Island, producing rain and strong to gale easterlies," said MetService.

In particular, Northland may receive bursts of very heavy rain as the low passes by, in addition to a risk of easterly winds reaching severe gale.

MetService advises that "old" tropical cyclones are not to be underestimated, and near Evan's centre indicates that it is not yet a spent force.

Meanwhile, a severe thunderstorm watch has been extended to Hawke's Bay, Taihape, Manawatu and Tararua.

MetService forecasts that very humid air and wind convergences are expected to trigger thunderstorms in these regions this afternoon.

These storms are likely to be slow moving and capable of producing localised downpours with rainfall rates reaching 25-40mm/hour.

It is likely that MetService will upgrade its warnings over the weekend.

Accordingly, MetService advises holidaymakers and trampers to keep up to date with the latest forecasts, as the low has the potential for localised flooding and disruption to transport.

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