– UPDATE: Gales now affecting Northland and the Hauraki Gulf.
– RAIN now also in the picture for Northland: MetService.
An intense depression is continuing to grow north of New Zealand bringing with it bands of heavy rain and incredibly strong winds.
The winds have battered the far north with predictions they are going to get even stronger today. The Radio Network’s Head Weather Analyst Philip Duncan says winds are well over 100km/h. “From Northland to the Hauraki Gulf winds are gusting to 110km/h already. We’re expecting that to increase further in some eastern coastal places to 130km/h later today”.
In Auckland winds have picked up rapidly overnight and have reached gale force out on the water…but only reaching 70km/h on land at this stage. “Auckland tends to be a bit sheltered to these easterly storms thanks to the Coromandel Peninsula. Although a long way away it slows down the wind a little and certainly breaks down the rain”.
But slightly further south and motorists and residents near the western slopes of the Kaimai Ranges should watch for even stronger winds. “The Kaimai Ranges act as big funnel…the air builds up and rushes down the valleys. I wouldn’t be surprised if some gusts reach 160 to 80km/h in isolated places, especially around Te Aroha” says Duncan.
Bands of heavy rain are also moving across Northland with isolated thunderstorms.
It’s much warmer in the North than the South this morning too with most temperatures already in the lower to mid teens. In the South it’s minus 4 in parts of Central Otago, but a little warmer in Invercargill on 1 degrees.
MetService has also issued a number of severe weather warnings for wind and rain in northern regions. They can be found on the weather link at www.newstalkzb.co.nz