Rain triggers first flood level warning in Queenstown

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Lake Wakatipu has triggered the first flood level warning following a deluge of rain in the New Year. 

At 6am this morning, the initial 310.8 metre mark was breached, sparking an initial alert, but Queenstown weatherman David Crow says the lake won’t rise past last week’s short-lived scare – peaking at 310.847m above sea level. 

Crow predicts ponding in low lying areas around the foreshore but expects the rain to clear by midday. 

“There will be further rain this morning, and it could even be heavy rain still at times, certainly…by early afternoon it should clear and become cloudy and dry. 

“I’m not predicting anything significant in the way of flooding,” he says, but adds that the lake should continue to swell for another 24 hours. 

Crow forecasts clear weather for tomorrow and Wednesday, but says Thursday will “pack up again”, and says he’ll be keeping an eye on Lake Wakatipu later in the week. 

The local meteorologist doesn’t expect the nasty weather to linger, with hotter than normal temperatures anticipated later this month. 

December’s figures show temperatures were 1.9 per cent above normal on average – a “pretty significant departure from normal” Crow claims.