Fresh new weather warnings have tonight been issued by MetService as a spring storm finally makes landfall near Taranaki.
New warnings covering severe winds have been issued for Taranaki, Wanganui, Manawatu, Horowhenua and Wellington.
WeatherWatch.co.nz says in the past hour winds have gusted close to 140km/h on the hilltops around Wellington with gusts in the city to 80km/h. 80km/h gusts are also being recorded in Paraparaumu and Palmerston North.
But it’s Taranaki that’s really being hammered tonight with gale force southerlies gusting to 100km/h in exposed places as the centre comes ashore just north east of New Plymouth…
As the southerly moves slowly northward temperatures are falling. Rain continues to fall in Waiouru where the temperature has gone from 8 degrees late this afternoon to just 5 this hour. WeatherWatch.co.nz describes the chances of snow falling on the road as “high” before midnight.
Head weather analyst Philip Duncan says motorists should now be prepared for road closures on State Highway 1, the Desert Road, and should be prepared for delays or taking alternate routes.
Mr Duncan says conditions aren’t so bad on the Napier-Taupo highway where it’s a little warmer but believes snow is possible on the hilltops after midnight. He was unsure if snow would be heavy enough to definitely close the highway but said it was “certainly possible” with tonight’s conditions.
In the South Island snow warnings have been lifted for Canterbury but remain in place across Nelson and Marlborough. A bitterly cold southerly gusting 80km/h is hammering Kaikoura this hour.
Most of Canterbury has a strong southerly and just 4 degrees. It’s just 2 degrees in Lumsden, Southland.
In Auckland a few showers are about with mild northerlies and 13 degrees. Southerlies will arrive during Saturday morning knocking temperatures back.