North Island soaked by Cyclone Hola

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Auckland is next in the firing line as Cyclone Hola makes landfall in New Zealand on Monday.

NIWA weather forecaster Chris Brandolino told The AM Show boaties need to get off the water.

"It will rain in the Auckland region most likely between the rush hours, maybe the tail end of the morning, beginning of the evening rush hour," he says.

"You wouldn't want to be out on the Hauraki Gulf, that's for sure."

What you need to know:

  • Gale-force gusts, slips and flooding is predicted
  • Heavy rain is hitting parts of Northland, with severe weather warnings still in place
  • The Far North is already being lashed by heavy rain and gale-force winds
  • Flights in and out of Kerikeri and Whangarei have been cancelled this morning

Refresh the page for the latest live updates.

6pm - Gisborne locals asked to be prepared

Civil Defence in Gisborne is advising people in low-lying and flood-prone areas to move outdoor furniture and other gear to higher ground ahead of the night’s expected rain and wind.

Tairawhiti Civil Defence Emergency Management Group manager Louise Bennett says staff members are using text, email and phone lines to contact residents along the city’s rivers to act while it’s still light.

‘The current forecast has rain and wind having an impact on the district but the variation in models makes it difficult to be sure about just how big or small the impact will be. However, we still want people to be prepared and to stay safe. It’s better to move furniture, waka and kayaks and other equipment to higher ground while they can.’

Rivers in the area are predicted to reach peak levels at 5am.

5:30pm - Rain clearing in far north

The Bay of Islands has seen 60.4mm of rainfall near Kerikeri, with more to come.

Rain is starting to clear in the far north of Northland as it moves down the island. 

4:15pm - Road closed in Whangarei

Russell Road at Punaruku is flooded, a common occurence for the tidal area

Motorists are advised to avoid using the road for the moment as high tide is scheduled for 4:55pm.

4:00pm - Weather Watch explains why it's so cold

Weather Watch has explained why so many North Islanders are feeling a sudden chill today despite Hola coming in from the tropics.

Because the cyclone is 'extra-tropical', it's being fed with cold air on one side and hot tropical air on the other.

Unfortunately the warm air won't be making an appearance today. Even though it's located less than 200km east of Northland, it won't be moving any closer. 

3:20pm - New images show New Zealand wracked by storm

MetService has posted new images showing Hola moving over New Zealand.

"Persistent rain over the upper North Island as #CycloneHola moves further south," it says on Twitter.

"Things looking very gloomy on the Hot Water Beach."

3:00pm - Gale force winds remain east of Auckland and Northland

"Cyclone Hola's transition into an extratropical storm is breaking up the portions of severe weather with the worst winds very close to New Zealand but remaining offshore to the east away from people and property for the most part," Weather Watch says.

"As Hola continues to morph into a new low pressure system it will see central winds easing further tonight as it moves towards East Cape. Hola may also weaken further due to interacting with the upper North Island ranges, which are breaking up the air and moisture flows feeding back into the storm centre."

2:40pm - Northland records over 10mm of rain an hour

"Rain is still spreading south, with stations in Northland reporting hourly rates of over 10mm per hour," MetService says.

2:20pm - Hola's worst winds out to sea

Weather Watch forecaster Philip Duncan says Hola's worst winds are out to sea.

"Auckland's not likely to get too stormy today & I think Hola has gone from a storm event to a rain event," he says.

1:40pm - NIWA issues top rainfall amounts

12:45pm - Tairawhiti Civil Defence prepares for Hola

Tairawhiti Civil Defence Emergency Management is prepared for the arrival of ex-Cyclone Hola this afternoon.

The current forecast has rain developing from mid-afternoon and increasing in intensity from early morning through to 6am Tuesday. Severe wind gusts are forecast from 7pm tonight, particularly north of Tolaga Bay.

A high tide at around 3:30am could bring storm surges and wave run-ups into the district's rivers, estuaries and drains as river levels peak at around the same time.

"We advise people stay home and stay safe tonight and prepare this afternoon for the probability of high winds and a lot of rain," says emergency manager Louise Bennett.

12:15pm - MetService issues latest Severe Weather Watches

MetService has issued its latest Severe Weather Watches and Warnings for the North Island as Cyclone Hola tracks south to the east of the North Island.

11:40am - Air NZ cancels flights

Air New Zealand has cancelled several Northland flights due to Hola's weather.

Flights from Whangarei and Kerikeri have been affected.

11:25am - Heavy rain moves south

Ex-tropical cyclone Hola is moving down the North Island, bringing rain with heavy falls and pockets of severe weather too.

"Half of the storm will miss New Zealand remaining at sea, while the other half will brush Northland, Auckland, Coromandel Peninsula, Eastern Waikato, Bay of Plenty, East Cape, Gisborne and Hawke's Bay in a weakened state - but still serious enough to prompt some severe weather warnings," Weather Watch says.

10:50am - Boaties warned to stay off water

Maritime New Zealand is warning boaties to stay off the water if conditions are too rough.

10:40am - Rain spreads south

"Rain from #CycloneHola is spreading south - but only reaching the north and east," MetService says.

"Wellington and Wairarapa should stay dry today."

10:30am - Severe gales forecast

Severe gales up to 120km/h in exposed areas are forecast, especially about the east coast. 

10:10am - Locals prepare for worst

Locals at Whangaroa and Matauri Bay, north of Whangarei, told Newshub they spent yesterday securing boats and bringing in outdoor furniture.

09:00am - NIWA warns of rain

"It's going to rain here across New Zealand. It's raining right now in the Northland region," Mr Brandolino says.

08:00am - MetService says Hola could cause structural damage

MetService says there could be wind damage to structures and power lines, damage to roads due to floods and slips and coastal inundation.

07:30am - Weather Watch warns of dangerous seas

"In a nutshell two thirds of New Zealand is unaffected by Hola while the top one third is brushed by the outer edges of the storm and some are brushed - or affected by - the centre of the storm," it says.

"Some regions, like Northland and East Cape may be more exposed to heavy rain and the strong to damaging winds.

"Dangerous seas/coastal conditions will affect north eastern/eastern areas between Northland and East Cape, including parts of Auckland," Weather Watch warns.

"Northern and north western East Cape along with eastern Bay of Plenty and some eastern parts of Northland may be most exposed to the biggest swells and possible storm surge as the centre comes in/tracks by."