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Big weather week ahead: MetService

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 3/04/2017

Taranaki and Whanganui are expected to bear the early brunt of what the MetService is warning will be "a big weather week".

The remnants of Tropical Cyclone Debbie are moving out of the northern Tasman Sea and beginning to muscle across New Zealand.

Heavy rain warnings have been issued for Taranaki, Whanganui, Hawke's Bay, Wairarapa and the Tararua Ranges for the duration of Tuesday.

"This will be a significant and high impact event with extremely large rainfall amounts for some, which could cause flooding," MetService forecaster Cameron Coutts said.

"For the already-soggy regions in the north of the North Island, landslips are a real possibility following on from an extremely wet March."

Mr Coutts said rain was likely for much of the North Island on Tuesday, with the heaviest being in Taranaki and Whanganui.

However heavy falls and localised downpours were possible anywhere over the island.

The heavy falls then spread southwards on Wednesday on to the north and east of the South Island before easing off on Thursday.

There will also be strong or gale force winds, most noticeably around the southwest of the North Island and north and west of the South Island on Tuesday.

The weather was expected to improve across the country on Friday with the arrival of a ridge of high pressure.

The wet and windy forecast has led the NZ Transport Agency to advise drivers to heed the conditions.

Regional manager Mark Owen says drivers should watch their speed, not follow too closely and take real care around corners.

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