NZ predicted for a drenching as dreary weather soaks much of the country




Predicted wet and cold weather is now soaking much of the country as the MetService extends its heavy rain and thunderstorm alerts.

File image of a puddle.

The ranges west of Nelson were the first hit overnight with 100mm of rain falling as a low pressure system moved in from the Tasman Sea.

Further heavy falls are forecast in the area in the coming 18 hours with thunderstorms late tonight expected to bring intense bursts of rain.

The dreary weather will also span most of the upper North Island where morning falls are expected to become heavier by Sunday afternoon in Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Taranaki, Whanganui and the Coromandel Peninsula.

Heavy rain alerts are now in place for the Bay of Plenty, Mount Taranaki and the Kakoura Ranges.

The heaviest rains are tipped for the Bay of Plenty where up to 160mm could fall on the ranges until Monday afternoon, and up to 120mm on areas outside the ranges.

Elsewhere, the lower South Island is the place to be this weekend as the sun shines in Invercargill and the temperature is forecast to hit a high of 18C on Sunday and 20C tonight. 

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