Weather: Concern grows over second sub-tropical low potentially heading towards Gisborne

A state of emergency will remain in place in Tairāwhiti amid growing concerns about another sub-tropical low after Cyclone Hale wreaked havoc last week, the Gisborne District Council said on Tuesday.

Forecasters are warning of more heavy rain in Gisborne from Wednesday just days after Tairāwhiti was battered by wild weather. 

The Gisborne District Council said another 70-90mm of rain was expected around Tairāwhiti between 1pm on Wednesday and 1am on Thursday.

"If you're in the Hikuwai and Mangatokerau areas, we're asking people to move their stock, be prepared and make sure you have enough supplies for at least three days," Tairāwhiti Civil Defence group controller Ben Green said.

Weather analyst Richard Green told Newshub Late meteorologists were watching Gisborne closely.

"It looks like later [on] Tuesday - some showers turning to rain could be quite heavy falls as well into the afternoon and that's something to keep an eye on," he said.

But Richard Green said there was some good news. 

"Just a few days ago, it looked like it was going to be more intense and centred down the North Island - so it's wobbled away a little bit."

Recent forecasts from NIWA showed a second tropical cyclone in the southwest Pacific, after Cyclone Hale last week, could form in the coming days. 

Meanwhile, MetService's severe weather outlook said there was a high likelihood of heavy rain in Gisborne on Wednesday and Thursday. 

The outlook said the sub-tropical low should move east of the North Island later on Thursday.

"At the moment it should be over and done with, fingers crossed, within about 24 hours," Richard Green said.

"[We're] not completely out of the woods - we're still going to see these subtropical downpours and that's due to La Nina."

MetService's short forecast for Tuesday: 

  • Northland, Auckland and Coromandel Peninsula: Long fine spells and isolated showers
  • Waikato to Manawatū including Bay of Plenty and the central high country, also Hawke's Bay and Wairarapa: Mainly fine, but isolated showers inland, some possibly heavy south of Waitomo from afternoon
  • Gisborne, also Horowhenua to Wellington Cloudy periods: Isolated showers in Tairāwhiti
  • Nelson, Marlborough and Buller: Mainly fine. However, a few showers inland from afternoon, some possibly heavy with thunderstorms
  • Westland and Fiordland: Fine in the north at first but cloud and showers in Fiordland spreading northwards on Tuesday morning. Becoming fine in the south later in the morning and elsewhere on Tuesday evening
  • Canterbury: Cloud increasing on Tuesday morning. Showers developing late morning, mainly inland, with thunderstorms possible about the high country
  • Otago and Southland: Cloudy periods and isolated showers 
  • Chatham Islands: Cloudy periods.

MetService's extended forecast:

  • Wednesday: North Island - Occasional rain in the east, becoming heavy in Gisborne and northern Hawke's Bay. Isolated showers in the north, fine in the west. Gale southeasterly in exposed parts of Gisborne and eastern Bay of Plenty. South Island - Isolated showers for most, possibly heavy in Kahurangi National Park and Buller afternoon and early evening. Dry in Canterbury Plains and from central Otago southwards
  • Thursday: North Island - Rain for Gisborne and Hawke's Bay, possibly heavy at first. Showers elsewhere, but dry for Kapiti Coast and Wellington. South Island - Isolated morning and afternoon showers in the west and Canterbury High Country. Mainly fine otherwise
  • Friday: North Island -  Showers for most, clearing later. Remaining dry for Kapiti Coast and Wellington. South Island - Rain in the west and south, possibly heavy. Isolated showers elsewhere but dry in Nelson.