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Source: MetService

22/06/2023 – At 3.26pm today, MetService has upgraded its Heavy Rain Warning from Orange to Red for the Tairāwhiti/Gisborne in consultation with the regional council.

A MetService Red Warning is the highest severe weather warning and indicates that people must take immediate action to protect people, animals and property from the impact of the weather. People should also be prepared to follow the advice of official authorities and emergency services.

The Red Warning for Heavy Rain is in force over a long time period, from today through to Sunday morning, with the heaviest rain expected today and again from Friday evening to Sunday.

People are advised that this rain is expected to cause dangerous river conditions and significant flooding. Some rivers are already reaching critical levels. Slips and floodwaters are likely to disrupt travel, making some roads impassable and possibly isolating communities.

MetService states that 200 to 300 mm of rain is expected to accumulate about and north of Tolaga Bay, 100 to 150 mm of rain about the ranges farther south, and 50 to 100 mm of rain about coastal areas south of Tolaga Bay. These amounts are in addition to the rain that has already fallen.

Thunderstorms are also possible with peak rainfall rates of 15 to 25 mm/h.

MetService meteorologist John law says, “We know that this is not the news the people want to hear and our thoughts are with everyone in the area.  Our team is monitoring the situation very closely and working with local authorities, so they have the most up to date information. Our warning information can be found on the MetService app and website

A number of other areas remain under Orange Heavy Rain Warnings:  Coromandel Peninsula and Bay of Plenty west of Te Puke,Hawkes Bay – from the Ruahine Range, Kaweka Forest Park, and Hawke’s Bay from State Highway 5 southwards and eastern Marlborough

People are advised to listen to advice from local civil defence.

For media enquiries or to arrange an interview with one of our meteorologists please call 04 4700 848 or email

Understanding MetService Severe Weather Warning System

Severe Thunderstorm Warnings (Localised Red Warning) – take cover now:

This warning is a red warning for a localised area.
When extremely severe weather is occurring or will do within the hour.
Severe thunderstorms have the ability to have significant impacts for an area indicated in the warning.
In the event of a Severe Thunderstorm Red Warning: Act now!

Red Warnings are about taking immediate action:

When extremely severe weather is imminent or is occurring
Issued when an event is expected to be among the worst that we get – it will have significant impact and it is possible that a lot of people will be affected
In the event of a Red Warning: Act now!

Orange Warnings are about taking action:

When severe weather is imminent or is occurring
Typically issued 1 – 3 days in advance of potential severe weather
In the event of an Orange Warning: Take action.

Thunderstorm Watch means thunderstorms are possible, be alert and consider action

Show the area that thunderstorms are most likely to occur during the validity period.
Although thunderstorms are often localised, the whole area is on watch as it is difficult to know exactly where the severe thunderstorm will occur within the mapped area.
During a thunderstorm Watch: Stay alert and take action if necessary.

Watches are about being alert:

When severe weather is possible, but not sufficiently imminent or certain for a warning to be issued
Typically issued 1 – 3 days in advance of potential severe weather.
During a Watch: Stay alert

Outlooks are about looking ahead:

To provide advanced information on possible future Watches and/or Warnings
Issued routinely once or twice a day
Recommendation: Plan