The first week of spring continues to deliver a mixed bag of weather, eschewing sunshine for wet and wild conditions for several parts of New Zealand.
Windy Wellington should be true to its moniker, with MetService putting a strong wind warning in place for the capital. Marlborough also has a strong wind warning in place.
Heavy rain forecasts have resulted in severe weather warnings for Tararua, Wairarapa and Wellington.
Hawke's Bay and Gisborne are set for a drenching with rain forecast all of this morning, set to get heavier later today. Thunderstorms and hail could also be in the mix.
Occassional showers are forecast for Auckland this morning, but they're set to clear by the evening.
But it's looking better for other regions, with the overcast morning in Southland and Otago set to clear later on today. Showers from Timaru through to Kaikoura are expected to ease by tonight, and it's sunny today in Hokitika and Greymouth.
It's looking to be an especially wet week for Hawke's Bay and Gisborne, with persistent rain through to Friday.
"There is a high risk of rainfall accumulations exceeding warning amounts about eastern areas from Gisborne City through to the northern Wairarapa, including the ranges, from Wednesday through to Friday," MetService has predicted.
"There is a low risk of heavy snow above 700 metres about the Marlborough Ranges on Wednesday."
Breakfast weatherman Matty McLean has the latest forecast.
The death toll from Hurricane Florence climbed to at least 37, including two mental health patients who drowned when a sheriff's van was swept away by floodwaters, and North Carolina's governor pleaded with thousands of evacuees not to return home just yet.
President Donald Trump, meanwhile, arrived in storm-ravaged North Carolina on Wednesday.
Wilmington, population 120,000, was still mostly an island surrounded by floodwaters, and people waited for hours Tuesday for handouts of food, water and tarps. Thousands of others around the state waited in shelters for the all-clear.
"I know it was hard to leave home, and it is even harder to wait and wonder whether you even have a home to go back to," Gov. Roy Cooper said.
After submerging North Carolina with nearly 3 feet (1 meter) of rain, the storm dumped more than 6.5 inches (16.5 centimeters) of rain in the Northeast, where it caused flash flooding.
Cooper warned that the flooding is far from over and will get worse in places.
"I know for many people this feels like a nightmare that just won't end," he said.
Addressing roughly 10,000 people who remain in shelters and "countless more" staying elsewhere, Cooper urged them to stay put for now, particularly those from the hardest-hit coastal counties that include Wilmington, near where Florence blew ashore on Friday.
Roads remain treacherous, he said, and some are still being closed for the first time as rivers swelled by torrential rains inland drain toward the Atlantic.
At least 27 of the deaths happened in North Carolina.
In South Carolina, two women died on Tuesday evening after a van taking the mental health patients from one facility to another was overtaken by rising floodwaters near the Little Pee Dee River, authorities said.
The risk of environmental damage mounted, as human and animal waste was washed into the swirling floodwaters.
More than 5 million gallons (18 million liters) of partially treated sewage spilled into the Cape Fear River after power went out at a treatment plant, officials said, and the earthen dam of a pond holding hog waste was breached, spilling its contents. The flooding killed an estimated 3.4 million chickens and 5,500 hogs on farms.
In Wilmington on Tuesday, workers began handing out supplies using a system resembling a giant fast-food drive-thru: Drivers pulled up to a line of pallets, placed an order and left without having to get out. A woman blew a whistle each time drivers had to pull forward.
Todd Tremain needed tarps to cover up spots where Florence's winds ripped shingles off his roof. Others got a case of bottled water or military MREs, or field rations. An olive-drab military forklift moved around huge pallets loaded with supplies.
Brandon Echavarrieta struggled to stay composed as he described life post-Florence: no power for days, rotted meat in the freezer, no water or food and just one bath in a week.
"It's been pretty bad," said Echavarrieta, 34, his voice breaking.
About 3,500 vehicles came through for supplies on the first day they were available, county officials said in a Facebook post.
Supplies have been brought into the city by big military trucks and helicopters,
At Fayetteville, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) inland, near the Army's sprawling Fort Bragg, flooding from Cape Fear River got so bad that authorities closed a vehicle bridge after the water began touching girders supporting the span's top deck.
Fayetteville Mayor Mitch Colvin said it was unclear if the bridge was threatened.
"We've never had it at those levels before, so we don't really know what the impact will be just yet," he said.
Waters inundate a town in North Carolina.
Source: Associated Press
The leaders of North and South Korea announced a wide range of agreements Wednesday which they said were a major step toward peace on the Korean Peninsula. But the premier pledge on denuclearization contained a big condition, with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un stating he'd permanently dismantle his main nuclear complex only if the United States takes unspecified corresponding measures.
Compared to the vague language of their two summits earlier this year, Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in agreed in their second day of meetings to an ambitious program meant to tackle soaring tensions last year that had many fearing war as the North tested a string of increasingly powerful weapons.
Kim promised to accept international inspectors to monitor the closing of a key missile test site and launch pad and to visit Seoul soon, and both leaders vowed to work together to try to host the Summer Olympics in 2032.
But while containing several tantalizing offers, their joint statement appeared to fall short of the major steps many in Washington have been looking for — such as a commitment by Kim to provide a list of North Korea's nuclear facilities, a solid step-by-step timeline for closing them down, or an agreement to allow international inspectors to assess progress or discover violations.
It also was unclear what "corresponding steps" North Korea wants from the U.S. to dismantle its nuclear site.
The question is whether it will be enough for U.S. President Donald Trump to pick up where Moon has left off. Trump, tweeting about the Korean leaders' agreements, said, "Very exciting!"
Declaring they had made a major step toward peace, Moon and Kim stood side by side as they announced the joint statement to a group of North and South Korean reporters after a closed-door meeting Wednesday morning. They took no questions.
"We have agreed to make the Korean Peninsula a land of peace that is free from nuclear weapons and nuclear threat," Kim said at the guesthouse where Moon is staying. "The road to our future will not always be smooth and we may face challenges and trials we can't anticipate. But we aren't afraid of headwinds because our strength will grow as we overcome each trial based on the strength of our nation."
Kim and Moon earlier smiled and chatted as they walked down a hallway and into a meeting room to finalize the joint statement, which also said that the leaders would push for a Korean Peninsula without nuclear weapons and to "eliminate all the danger of war." Moon and Kim planned to visit a volcano sacred to the North on Thursday, the last day of Moon's visit.
This week's summit comes as Moon is under increasing pressure from Washington to find a path forward in efforts to get Kim to completely — and unilaterally — abandon his nuclear arsenal.
Trump has maintained that he and Kim have a solid relationship, and both leaders have expressed interest in a follow-up summit to their meeting in June in Singapore. North Korea has been demanding a declaration formally ending the Korean War, which was stopped in 1953 by a cease-fire, but neither leader mentioned it Wednesday as they read the joint statement.
In the meantime, however, Moon and Kim made concrete moves of their own to reduce tensions on their border.
According to a statement signed by the countries' defense chiefs, the two Koreas agreed to establish buffer zones along their land and sea borders to reduce military tensions and prevent accidental clashes. They also agreed to withdraw 11 guard posts from the Demilitarized Zone by December and to establish a no-fly zone above the military demarcation line that bisects the two Koreas that will apply to planes, helicopters and drones.
Though not directly linked to security, the leaders' announcement that they would seek a joint Summer Olympics was a significant move in terms of easing tensions and building trust. It also flows from the North's decision to participate in the Pyeongchang Winter Games in February, which was regarded as a success for both sides.
Other agreements aimed at removing some longstanding irritants from their relations, such as allowing more contact between families divided by the Korean War. Moon also appeared to be making good on his proposals to help build up the North's infrastructure and open cross-border rail links.
Unlike Trump's initial tweets praising the summit, the news brought a quick and negative response from Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, who tweeted that he was concerned the visit would undermine efforts by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley to impose "maximum pressure" on the North.
"While North Korea has stopped testing missiles and nuclear devices, they have NOT moved toward denuclearization," he tweeted.
With the main business of the day complete, North Korea was expected to hold a huge mass games spectacle in the evening, with Moon as the special guest. Seoul said Moon would make a short speech.
North Korea had put the iconic games, which feature tens of thousands of performers dancing and flipping placards in unison to create giant mosaics and slogans, on a back burner for the past several years, but revived them for this month's celebrations of its 70th founding anniversary. In a performance for the anniversary, a giant photo of Moon and Kim shaking hands at their first summit in April was projected onto one side of the stands in Pyongyang's 150,000-seat May Day Stadium.
Kim has gone all out to make Moon's visit a memorable one.
On Tuesday, the first day of the summit, he greeted Moon and his wife at Pyongyang's airport and then rode into town with Moon in an open limousine through streets lined with crowds of North Koreans, who cheered and waved the flag of their country and a blue-and-white flag that symbolizes Korean unity.
At the start of their meeting, Kim thanked Moon for brokering the June summit with Trump.
"It's not too much to say that it's Moon's efforts that arranged a historic North Korea-U.S. summit. Because of that, the regional political situation has been stabilized and more progress on North Korea-U.S. ties is expected," Kim said, according to South Korean media pool reports and Moon's office.
Tasman have outlasted a spirited Manawatū to earn a 29-19 Mitre 10 Cup win in Palmerston North tonight.
The Mako were made to work all night by the Turbos but got off to a flying start thanks to a superb solo run by Jamie Spowart.
Spowart was the first receiver off a Mako scrum inside their own half and after a simple step back to his right, burst through a hole in the Manawatū defence.
The Tasman winger ended up running 60m untouched to score and give Tasman an early lead they would never surrender in the rest of the match.
That wasn't to say the Premiership side weren't tested by the struggling Championship outfit as Manawatū pressure Tasman's forwards all night.
As a result, the Mako's scrums and lineouts began to become a serious issue in the game as they gave up multiple knock-ons and penalties which the Turbos converted on twice.
Despite a try on halftime to cut the deficit to 14-12, the Turbos were ultimately undone early in the second half when they gave up two tries in the space of eight minutes.
A late score from Michael Tagicakibau wasn't enough to rein in the visitors either.
With the win, Tasman remain second on the table behind Auckland in the Premiership while Manawatū continue to remain trapped in second-to-last in the Championship with just one win in six games so far this year.
Jamie Spowart took the ball off a scrum, spied a hole and never looked back.
Relive 1 NEWS NOW's live updates of tonight's Mitre 10 Cup match between Manawatū and Tasman at Central Energy Trust Arena in Palmerston North.
FT: MAN 19-29 TAS
That does it for a scrappy ol' game in Palmy. A much better performance from Manawatū than in recent weeks but still not enough to get them a win. Tasman will have plenty they want to work on this week - especially the forwards at set piece after a horrid night in both scrums and lineouts. Still, it's a bonus point win and keeps them in the upper echelon of the Premiership table. That'll do it from us here tonight. Have a good evening.
77min: MAN 19-29 TAS
Manawatū look for a late line break but there's a forward pass from Malcolm. That'll probably do it. Mako scrum on halfway.
75min: MAN 19-29 TAS
TAS THREE! Hunt slots it with ease and pushes the lead to 10.
74min: MAN 19-26 TAS
Mako launch a composed attack and get to within 2m after 19 phases of play. Nothing fancy. Just forwards and backs hitting the line with hard, straight runs and getting over the advantage line. Manawatū finally give up a penalty for being offside. Looks like Tasman will play it safe and take the three.
70min: MAN 19-26 TAS
Black's kick goes to waste as there's another knock on at the lineout. Tasman scrum on their 22m.
69min: MAN 19-26 TAS
Tasman try to milk another penalty at the scrum but it backfires as they lose control of the ball at the back and get penalised for not releasing when Manawatū come through to steal it. Black hoofs it down field and it's a beauty. Turbos lineout on Tasman's 22m.
67min: MAN 19-26 TAS
Turbos straight back under pressure as their lineout throw isn't straight just outside their 22m. That's going to give Tasman an attacking scrum.
65min: MAN 19-26 TAS
MAN TRY! Tasman are penalised for an early push at the scrum. It's taken quickly but the ball is inches short. Turbos recycle quickly, numbers to the right and Tagicakibau goes over. Black adds the extras and Manawatū are back to within seven.
63min: MAN 12-26 TAS
Tasman's defence holds and they bundle Mafi into touch. Tasman's lineout 10m from their line but it's another shocker and they knock it on! Turbos with another chance as they get the scrum 10m from the Mako line.
60min: MAN 12-26 TAS
Turbos with a big chance to come back here as they get a penalty and kick for touch. The lineout will be 10m from Tasman's line. They're still down a man though.
57min: MAN 12-26 TAS
TAS TRY! Too easy. Hunt sees a hole off the lineout, pins the ears back and sprints through it to score under the posts. Big task coming up now for the hosts.
55min: MAN 12-19 TAS
MAN YELLOW! Ironically, Kiri Kiri is sent to the bin as he's penalised for a high tackle off the lineout. Mako kick AGAIN for touch and now the lineout is 15m from the Turbos' line. Three penalties for 80m. Not a bad trade.
54min: MAN 12-19 TAS
Mako get another penalty as their maul forces another offside play from Manawatū. The ref calls in Kiri Kiri and says another one will see someone in the bin. Tasman kick for toucha again and now their lineout is 10m inside Turbos' half.
53min: MAN 12-19 TAS
Mako scrum puts the shunt on and earn a penalty as Manawatū collapses. Mako kick for touch and get a lineout 15m from halfway.
52min: MAN 12-19 TAS
Turbos go absolutely nowhere for 12 phases until finally Otere Black makes a run down the left wing. Gets passed his man and finds support. Christie makes a try-saving ankle tap and there's a knock on. Mako scrum 15m from their own line.
50min: MAN 12-19 TAS
Manawatū with an attacking chance after kickoff as Tasman try to run the ball and a loose pass goes into touch. Turbo lineout 10m inside the Mako's half.
49min: MAN 12-19 TAS
TAS TRY! Mako get inside Manawatū's 22m shortly after the lineout. It comes to the left and somehow Fox-Mataamua holds onto a pass behind with a one-handed catch. He gets it to Jordan and the sub is in with his first touch of the night. O'Malley's conversion is off the post... seen that a bit lately.
47min: MAN 12-14 TAS
Big 30min coming up for one man as Jackson Hemopo comes onto the field. If he gets through this, could be in for a trip to Argentina with the All Blacks. On the field, it'll be a Mako lineout 10m inside Manawatū's half.
45min: MAN 12-14 TAS
Manawatū's defence holds for 12 phases and it forces Tasman to go wide. The pass is a big skip pass and it's forward! Turbos scrum on their 5m.
43min: MAN 12-14 TAS
Mako with another strong drive and it leads to a penalty as Turbos enter the maul offside. Mako kick for touch again and look to do the same with a 5m lineout.
42min: MAN 12-14 TAS
Mako immediately with a great attacking chance after Turbos are penalised for an illegal strip. Mako kick for touch and it's a lineout 15m from Manawatū's line.
40min: MAN 12-14 TAS
Mako get us going again.
HT: MAN 12-14 TAS
Halftime and the scoreboard is a fair reflection of the game so far. Close contest in the first half but Tasman have done more with ball in hand to earn a two point lead. What will really concern the Mako is their set play. Lineouts are a horror show at the moment and they've give up multiple penalties at the scrum too. For Manawatū, a strong first half and they'll be confident they're right in this one. It's on them now to keep that intensity up and force more errors in the second 40. Don't go anywhere. We'll be back soon.
40+2min: MAN 12-14 TAS
MAN TRY! Patience and power from Manawatū gets them a big try on halftime. They continue to pick and go for 13 phases to get within 5m of the line. Alaalatoa is at the back of the ruck and sees space on the left of the ruck. Picks, goes and stretches out to score. Plonks the ball right on the line to score. Big moment in the game.
38min: MAN 5-14 TAS
Turbos slowly burrow their way towards Tasman's 22m but there's a knock on and the Mako counterattack with Alaimalo on the left wing. He kicks ahead to chase but the bounce goes into touch. Manawatū's lineout 10m from halfway.
35min: MAN 5-14 TAS
It's a clean lineout for Tasman but a poor pass from the ensuing ruck leads to a knock on. Turbos scrum on halfway.
34min: MAN 5-14 TAS
Tasman's scrum earns another penalty as Manawatū buckle from the shove. Mako clear and get a lineout 10m from halfway.
33min: MAN 5-14 TAS
Tasman survive a horror restart. They completely misread the kickoff and Tagicakibau takes it on the full. He runs it all the way to within 5m. Manawatū go to pick and goes but one is too upright and the ball gets held up. It's a maul that dies and Tasman gets a scum 10m from their line. Lucky.
31min: MAN 5-14 TAS
TAS TRY! Tasman finally get a lineout right and it leads to Aumua scoring. They maul for a solid 20m before Makalio breaks from the back. He's taken short. It's recycled quickly and Aumua is over with ease. O'Malley converts and pushes their lead to nine.
29min: MAN 5-7 TAS
It takes a couple of resets but the Mako finally get a clean scrum. They attack down the blindside and it works as the Turbos make the tackle but they're penalised for playing at the ball off their feet. Mako kick for touch and get lineout on Manawatū's 22m. Can they get it right here?
26min: MAN 5-7 TAS
Manawatu look to score down the right wing again but they get isolated and penalised for not releasing. Tasman kick for touch and get a lineout 15m from halfway. It's yet another horrid lineout but they're lucky this time as Manawatū knock it on trying to steal it. Mako scrum 10m outside their 22m.
24min: MAN 5-7 TAS
Manawatū's defence doesn't budge for 13 phases and it forces Tasman to go wide. But that backfires as Alaimalo is driven into touch. Turbos lineout just outside their 22m.
21min: MAN 5-7 TAS
Turbos use a short lineout and get the ball to Kiri Kiri in the midfield. He hits the line hard but pops the ball loose in contact. Tasman scrum in the middle of the field bang on halfway.
20min: MAN 5-7 TAS
Turbos throw the ball away shortly after the lineout when they're penalised for not releasing. Great kick from O'Malley gives them a lineout just inside Manawatū's 22m. But it's another shocker from the Mako and a knock on leads to a Turbos scrum. Mako scrum is again penalised for collapsing so Turbos kick for toucha and it's a lineout on halfway.
17min: MAN 5-7 TAS
Tasman front row is penalised after they collapse it twice in a row. Turbos kick for touch and get a lineout 10m inside Tasman's half.
16min: MAN 5-7 TAS
Turbos clear early after the kickoff and Tasman look to attack. But after eight phases of hitting the line hard with straight runs there's a knock on. Manawatū scrum 15m inside their own half.
14min: MAN 5-7 TAS
MAN TRY! Turbos strik back with a brilliant team try. They launch an attack 40m from Tasman's line with a skip pass to the right win. Kiri Kiri fends off one before giving the ball to Waitokia. Waitokia is one-on-one and gets and offload to Malcolm who runs it 20m to score in the right corner. Great stuff.
11min: MAN 0-7 TAS
Turbos escape pressure after the Mako have another poor lineout. Turbos get the ball and Tasman are penalised for being offside soon after. Turbos kick for touch and get a lineout on halfway.
9min: MAN 0-7 TAS
Tasman right back on attack after Manawatū are penalised for hands in the ruck straight after kickoff. Mako kick for touch and get a lineout 10m inside the Turbos half.
8min: MAN 0-7 TAS
TAS TRY! What an amazing run from Spowart! Gets the ball from the base of the scrum at speed and he steps inside his man. Pins the ears back and he's away to score untouched. Superb solo run. O'Malley with the extas from the right wing and he's got it.
6min: MAN 0-0 TAS
Laloifi makes a great break down the left wing but he's driven hard into the ground. Unfortunately, his head hits the ground hard with whiplash and he stays down so that forces a stoppage in play. He's slow to get up. That's his night done unless he passes an HIA. Game will restart with a scrum to Tasman 10m inside their half after Laloifi also lost the ball in contact.
5min: MAN 0-0 TAS
Manawatū come up with a steal at the lineout and clear shortly after. But Tasman counter attack down the left wing and get all the way down to just outside the Turbos' 22m. That great attack from Alaimalo is undone though as Tasman are penalised for misconduct at the breakdown. Turbos clear and get a lineout on halfway.
2min: MAN 0-0 TAS
Tasman cleary early after kickoff and the Turbos return it from halfway. Blackadder comes up with a steal at the breakdown though and Tasman look to attack but the Turbos are penalised for being offside. Mako kick for touch and get a lineout 5m inside Manawatū's half.
Turbos get us going!
Clear night in Palmy. Light northerly favouring the team playing left to right. 16 degrees at the moment dropping to 14. Pretty perfect conditions underfoot too.
Tasman Mako player Tim O'Malley makes a run against the Turbos in 2016.
It's David against Goliath in Palmerston North tonight as Championship strugglers Manawatū host Premiership high-flyers Tasman.
After a positive start to 2018 with a 24-19 win over Waikato, Manawatū have suffered four straight losses to Taranaki, Otago, Canterbury and Northland.
On the other hand, Tasman have won all their matches in 2018 bar a hefty loss to undefeated Premiership leaders Auckland and enter tonight's game coming off a convincing 53-17 win over Taranaki.
One positive for the Turbos is the inclusion of All Blacks rookie Jackson Hemopo on the bench but they will be without strong performing midfielder Rob Thompson, who has been rested for the match.
Tasman have also made tweaks to their backline with captain David Havili making a rare outing at fullback with Will Jordan shifted to the bench.