More heavy rain expected on Sunday as Northland recovers from repeated drenchings - NZ Herald

2022-07-22 23:04:49 By : Ms. Arya Yang

Isla and Olivia Simpson from Hūkerenui splashing in puddles on their parents' dairy farm. Photo / Tania Whyte

Brace yourself - the Big Wet isn't over yet.

Parts of Northland have received nearly double the average rainfall for July already, as farmers deal with sodden paddocks.

And more is to come, with heavy rain expected again after a brief respite, MetService meteorologist Tui McInnes told the Advocate.

"The remainder of today and into Thursday, it does tend to the southwest, so that's going to be better for most of Northland," McInnes said.

"It will mean most of the shower activity will be more in the west. Places like Dargaville and Kaitaia will be exposed but places like Whangārei, Kerikeri and the likes will be better off."

Kerikeri, which normally receives an average of 188.8mm in July, recorded 337.2mm of rainfall this month - with 10 days of July left.

There have been seven days this month where Kerikeri has had more than 25mm of rain, which is exceptional, McInnes said.

"Normally we look at a very wet day being one where you've got 5mm of rain."

Whangārei has also had much more rain than usual, with 235.6mm in July, nearly 100mm more than the average of 141.9mm.

A significant chunk of that rain fell overnight on Tuesday.

From 12pm Tuesday to 12pm Wednesday, 86mm of rain was recorded at Whangārei Airport and 92mm at a station near Kaeo.

In rural districts north and south of Whangārei, paddocks were sodden and lakes were forming in low-lying areas on Wednesday morning.

Whangārei received 86mm of rain overnight, with even more recorded at a weather station near Kāeo - 92mm.

Mata farm worker Roy Joass told the Advocate the flooding yesterday morning was not as bad as it had been in previous years, but it was the third time paddocks were inundated with water in just a few weeks.

The sodden ground was making work difficult, Joass said, and it was the worst flooding of the three this winter.

"As soon as you go into a paddock with machinery, you get stuck," Joass said.

Another Mata farmer, who did not want to be named, said it was the wettest July he had ever seen.

James Simpson, a Hūkerenui dairy farmer, said the heavy rain in recent weeks had made the paddocks sodden, but not caused major problems.

"I wouldn't say it's doom and gloom but definitely the weather's been bad. About a week ago we got a bit of flooding down the back there but it went pretty quick."

Simpson had only been on the farm a few weeks, but said he had seen worse flooding on the family's last farm in Maromaku.

Farmers may be in for a bit more flooding as the wet weather will be back before the weekend is over, McInnes said.

"It actually fines up as we go into Friday and then into Saturday. There will definitely be sunnier periods but there will still be a bit of cloud about. That cloud's a bit of a precursor to what's coming on Sunday and into the start of the next working week," McInnes said.

Another low pressure system coming from the north would bring more heavy rain and strong winds, he added.

"There is still a bit of scope for it to move earlier or end up coming a bit later but for now Friday and Saturday look like the nicer days."

The rain expected on Sunday will be different from Tuesday and Wednesday's rain, which was associated with thunderstorms, McInnes added.

"This is going to be a bit more of a broad scale, persistent event. There will be heavier periods but it will be longer-lasting as well."

A bout of heavy rain just last week, where more than 100mm fell overnight in parts of Northland on Monday, caused slips and flooding on roads, as well as power outages in the Far North.

There were no major road closures after the heavy rain yesterday, although one rural road the Advocate visited was impassable due to flooding.