Fairfax Media Network

Weather News

Ita slamming into New Zealand

Rob Sharpe, Thursday April 17, 2014 - 15:27 EST

Ita's remnants have gained strength in time to lash New Zealand with damaging wind and flooding rains to rival its impact on Queensland.

Severe Tropical Cyclone Ita crossed the Queensland Coast on Friday evening last week, before it quickly weakened to category one strength over land. The system brought flooding rain and gale force winds as far south as the Central Coast before it moved into the Coral Sea.

On its long journey across the ditch Ita performed an extra-tropical transition. This means that it has transitioned from a warm-core tropical system to a cold-core system.

As Ita approached New Zealand it has intensified through combining with another low pressure system that brought showers and gusty southerlies to the New South Wales coast during the past week. Now with all of this new-found strength it is slamming into New Zealand, leading to considerable damage.

The powerful low is now situated to the west of the North Island and is driving moisture-laden northeasterlies across the nation. Winds are reaching well over 100km/h in central parts of New Zealand, primarily about the west coast and ranges.

Auckland has already seen its burst of heavy rain and strong winds. The city had its heaviest rain in four months with 45mm, along with wind gusts reaching 83km/h. Nearby areas have seen wetter and windier conditions than in the city.

As the low heads further south it is drawing the heavy falls with it, with flooding likely in some areas. The focus of the heavy rain should be on the lower North Island and the upper and eastern South Island. Wellington's eastern hills, Canterbury and eastern Otago should all be in the firing line of upcoming heavy rain.

The system will be quite slow moving, meaning that areas that receive the heaviest rain could rival falls gained in flood affected Queensland.

New Zealand will finally see respite from Ita by Easter Sunday after the system moves across the South Island on Saturday. Unfortunately a trough or weak low is likely to see rain briefly increase on Sunday over much of New Zealand. Easter Monday should then be the driest day of the Easter long weekend, but there still looks to be showers in some parts.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2014

More breaking news

ABC News
Sydney Morning Herald
National Nine News
News Limited

Display Your Local Weather

Weather News

Valentine's Day should turn up the heat

12:59 EDT

For those seeking the perfect weather for the perfect date this Valentine's weekend, Australian capital cities seem sure to share the love! Brisbane and Darwin will be hot and steamy as per usual, expecting a maximum temperature into the low 30s on both days.

Tropical Cyclone Tatiana intensifies, may bring dangerous swell to Queensland coast: BoM

12:26 EDT

Queensland's first cyclone of the season poses no immediate threat to the coast but may whip up dangerous swells for south-east beaches early next week, the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) says.

Cloncurry stormwater mitigation project gets $800K amid hopes of more housing development

12:21 EDT

The Cloncurry Shire Council in north-west Queensland has received more than $800,000 in State Government funding to address the town's stormwater drainage issues.