Weather: Rain brings brief break for drought-stricken New Zealand

Niwa's Saturday forecast of rainfall accumulation.
Niwa's Saturday forecast of rainfall accumulation. Photo credit: Niwa Weather/Twitter.

After weeks of dry weather, New Zealand will finally feel some rain. 

According to NIWA, showers will hit the upper North Island to the lower South Island over the weekend. 

The rain will bring a brief respite from the drought and humidity experienced across the country.


"A front moves northeast across the South Island today, then across the North Island from this evening and during Saturday. This front is expected to deliver a period of heavy northerly rain to western parts of central and southern New Zealand," said forecaster MetService. 

However, the rain will subside by the end of the weekend. 

"More dry next week, then some changes heading later into the first week of March," NIWA predicts.

Although Saturday's rain will be welcomed, most places are likely to see less than 10mm, with spotty 10-20mm possible for some lucky areas.

Residents in Coromandel, Waikato, Waitomo, Taumarunui, Bay of Plenty, Rotorua, Taupo, Taranaki, Taihape and Whanganui are being urged to drive to the conditions. 

"An active front is moving eastwards across the North Island, bringing outbreaks of heavy rain to western and central areas Saturday morning and afternoon. There is a possibility of thundery downpours with this front, and rainfall rates may exceed 25mm/h," MetService said. 

"Rainfall of this intensity can cause surface and/or flash flooding, especially about low-lying areas such as streams, rivers or narrow valleys, and may also lead to slips."

"Driving conditions will also be hazardous with surface flooding and poor visibility in heavy rain."