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A round of heavy rain and gusty winds will threaten the North Island of New Zealand into Monday as Tropical Rainstorm Hola arrives.
Unfavorable conditions have caused Hola to weaken from its cyclone status, but the North Island will still need to brace for a round of heavy rain and strong winds as Hola makes a pass along the northern coast of the island.
Rain and wind began to batter the Northland on Sunday night and will spread south into Auckland on Monday morning. Rain and wind will overspread much of the North Island through the day on Monday.
The heaviest rain and strongest winds will batter the island during the daylight hours on Monday.
Rainfall of 25 to 75 mm (1 to 3 inches) is expected with the locally higher amounts across the mountainous areas. This can lead to flooding issues, especially in low-lying and poor drainage areas.
Motorists should be prepared to encounter dangerous driving conditions. Heavy rainfall will lead to poor visibility, and any flooded roadways will cause delays. Alternative routes may need to be taken to avoid flooding and detours, so extra time will be needed.
Strong winds will accompany Hola on Monday with gusts between 70 and 80 kp/h (43 and 53 mph) likely. The strongest gusts will be along the northern coast. These winds will be able to bring down branches and small trees, and some areas may experience power outages as a result.
Hola will stir up rough seas and large swells that will batter the northern coast early in the week.
Coastal flooding and beach erosion can occur. People near the coast will want to be well prepared and on alert.
Conditions should improve on Monday night as Hola clears to the southeast of the country. A gusty wind, however, will linger through the first part of Tuesday.
This will not be New Zealand’s first encounter with a tropical rainstorm this season. Fehi impacted western New Zealand at the beginning of February, and Gita slammed the South Island with damaging winds and rain during the third week of February.
There does not appear to be another major tropical threat on the immediate heels of Hola for New Zealand. However, a new cyclone could develop near the Solomon Islands over the weekend. If one does develop, it will be worth keeping an eye on next week.
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