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New storm to bring 'month's worth of rain in a day'

Radio New Zealand logo Radio New Zealand 17/07/2017

A flooded bridge on SH53 to Martinborough. © RNZ / Jacob McSweeny A flooded bridge on SH53 to Martinborough. More wild weather is on the way, bringing the second major soaking in strong winds to parts of the country in two weeks.

Another winter storm is coming after the country took a battering last week, with snow, heavy rains and strong winds causing widespread flooding and serious disruption to school holiday travel plans.

About 800 properties remain without power in the lower North Island, and more heavy rain, winds and snow are forecast for many parts of the country towards the end of the week.

NIWA meterologist Chris Brandolino told Morning Report the storm was coming from the west this time and would bring northerly winds and rain on Thursday morning.

"A lot of that snow pack is going to melt" - Chris Brandolino (3 min 53 sec)

The rain would be heaviest in eastern Bay of Plenty and Gisborne, with strong wind gusts and "unseasonably mild" temperatures for this time of year, Mr Brandolino said.

MetService said Westland and Bay of Plenty were expected to get about 100mm of rain over 24 hours from Thursday to early Friday.

Mr Brandolino said on Friday evening into Saturday, 50mm to 150mm of rain was due to fall between Dunedin and Christchurch, which could cause localised flooding and slips.

"We're talking a month's worth of rain or more in a day, and above 500m probably falling as snow."

Wind gusts of up to 120km/h were also possible for the east coast of the South Island, Mr Brandolino said.

And the warmer temperatures and rain meant a lot of the snow that fell last week would be melted off, he said.

MetService said snow was expected down to 400m in Otago and Canterbury on Friday and over the weekend.

Fog, ice and slips

Police are warning motorists to take care and even delay travel in Milburn in Otago this morning as thick fog blankets the region.

Emergency services were attending a crash in the area and the fog would make them hard to see, they said.

The Transport Agency has also warned of icy conditions on roads around the North Island's central plateau, Mackenzie District and inland Otago.

And it said a slip has closed State Highway 4 between Whanganui and Raetihi and motorists should take an alternative route, such as SH1.

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