Heavy rain watch for Gisborne as Cyclone Hale cleanup continues

A heavy rain watch is in place for Gisborne just days after the region was battered by wild weather. 

The region is still under a state of emergency after Cyclone Hale swept through causing flooding, slips and power cuts. 

Authorities were working hard on Sunday to restore basic services but now MetService is warning more severe weather is on the way.

The forecaster issued a heavy rain watch on Monday for the Gisborne region. The watch is in place until Thursday afternoon.  

Locals are being told to expect periods of heavy rainfall - which may approach warning criteria, especially north of Tolaga Bay.

"Keep an eye on this forecast as there's potential it will be upgraded to a Warning," MetService said. 

"Parts of Tairāwhiti will potentially get around 80-100mm of rain in a 24hr period. Saturated areas will see impacts faster."

MetService said the rain is expected to intensify in the north of the region later in the week. 

"There is high confidence that warning amounts of rain will fall in the north of the region during Wednesday and Thursday, with moderate confidence that a rain warning will be needed further south and into northern Hawke's Bay," it said. 

The region has only just begun recovering from Cyclone Hale and some areas were still cut off from roads, power, services and landlines on Sunday.

And more severe weather could be on the way soon with experts warning there is a moderate chance another tropical cyclone will develop and impact Pacific countries in the coming days.

According to the Fiji Meteorological Service, a tropical disturbance was analysed in the Coral Sea between New Caledonia and the coast of Queensland, Australia.

It is slow-moving, they said and will have just a "slight intensification" in the next 24 hours.

New Caledonia's official weather forecast website said there is "great uncertainty" on where and how strong this weather system will be.

MetService in New Zealand said the cyclone is not forecast to hit Aotearoa this week but meteorologists are keeping a close eye on the situation. 

MetService meteorologist Jessie Owen said closer to home a different low-pressure system is expected to approach the country from the north, passing near East Cape, late Wednesday and into Thursday. 

"This system will bring strong east to southeasterly winds and another period of rain to already sodden northeastern areas." 

Owens said there is also a risk of heavy rain in northern Hawke's Bay and severe gale winds in the eastern Bay of Plenty. 

The low will then move away from the country to the east on Friday. The rest of Aotearoa can expect relatively settled weather for the next few days as a high-pressure system slowly loosens its hold on the country. 

Plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures are forecast for Monday, with the hot spots being Southland and Central Otago with high temperatures expected to reach the high twenties following a run of hot days. 

"Alexandra reached 30.9°C and Wanaka reached 29.7°C on Sunday afternoon, a good six degrees above their average January daytime maximum temperatures," Owens said. 

On Tuesday a weak front moves up the South Island briefly bringing showers and cooler temperatures in its wake before settled warm weather returns to the South Island for Wednesday and Thursday, while the low-pressure system affects the North Island. 

A change is in the air however as a cold front is expected to bring rain to the South Island on Friday and drop the temperatures back down to the low twenties.