Friday was Auckland's 'wettest ever day': More heavy rain Sunday, with 'severe' impacts

Photo / NZ Herald

MetService is warning of further rainfall for Auckland with 'severe' impacts expected, although nothing to match the past 36 hours which it says was the "wettest ever day" recorded in the country's largest city. The heavy rain is forecast to be an issue this Sunday, from 6am until midnight.

Showers with the chance of thunderstorms are forecast for the remainder of Saturday in Auckland. The State of Emergency still remains in force for the region. There is a MetService Heavy Rain Watch in place for more rain on Sunday 29 January from 6am until midnight.

“The main rain band has moved off to the east of Auckland for the time being and there are a number of Orange Warnings and Watches in place around the North Island.  The main rain band returns to Auckland and Northland later on Sunday but rain will come and go for many areas in the North Island,” MetService meteorologist Angus Hines says.

While the upcoming rain should not match the intensity of what has been, MetService says, the "impacts are expected to be severe and wide reaching because of the saturated ground."

"More flooding will occur through many northern regions in the coming days, and people should stay abreast of the latest information from local emergency management, Civil Defence and"

Auckland's 'wettest ever day'

The exceptionally humid and rain-laden flow of air over the country bought widespread heavy rain on Friday to Auckland.  This combined with torrential localised downpours to produce the wettest day on record in our largest city.

“The rain that fell around the Auckland region was extreme and unprecedented.”

MetService says the weather station at Auckland Airport has an unbroken record of weather observation since 1962 and prior to Friday, the wettest ever day there amounted to 161.8mm of rain.

"Yesterday that same site reported 245mm of rain, surpassing the previous record by over 50%".

Other weather stations all around the region also tallied remarkable rainfall, with many spots noting between 250-300mm of rain within the day, says MetService.

"Some stations reported over 80mm of rain in an hour. To put this into context, the highest classification for intense rain we have at MetService is ‘torrential’, which is defined as 40mm of rain or more in an hour. As most people will have seen, this rain has led to widespread, severe flooding in the region."

Other Areas

Many areas in the North Island have also been drenched in the last few days. Some locations, such as the Coromandel Peninsula, Northland, and Gisborne are in the midst of their third heavy rain event of 2023.

“Due to the recent rains, it didn’t take long before the impacts of the current severe weather began to rear up again. Slips, road closures and surface floods are common around much of Te Ika-a-Maui/North Island at the moment. People are advised to minimise travel where possible, and if you must travel, then check in with Waka Kotahi/NZTA to see the latest road closures.”

Looking ahead through the weekend and into next week, MetService says more rain is on the way for drenched areas.  Drier weather looks to be on the way for the second half of next week after these rainy days.