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Road cones blown over on Vivian Street, Wellington, this afternoon by gale force winds.  Photo/Lee Densem,

9:45pm UPDATE

The strong winds across the South Island have set in across the Wellington region tonight and while they’ve eased significantly in the south  temperatures are still well up.

As of 9pm it was still 23 degrees in Timaru, 22 in Kaikoura and 21 in Christchurch.  In the North Island it’s still 18 degrees in Gisborne.

The strongest winds remain around Wellington where gusts over 110km/h are being recorded on Mt Kaukau and north’west gusts around 90km/h in the city itself.

Police have advised motorists to avoid the Rimutaka Ranges road tonight with winds reaching 130km/h.

3:45pm update

Temperatures have jumped across New Zealand’s east coast today as gales slam exposed areas prompting the police to warn motorists about travelling in some areas.

The Weather Watch Centre reports that winds over 145km/h have blasted Stewart Island and Fiordland with winds around 90km/h in Southland and Otago. 

Weather analyst Richard Green says it’s warm and windy in Christchurch with gusts close to 100km/h.  He predicts the strong and very warm conditions so early in Spring could mean a hotter and drier summer for Canterbury, based on previous hot windy Septembers.

Earlier today winds of 190km/h were reported at Mt Hutt.

Head weather analyst Philip Duncan says the strong northerlies have arrived right in time for the spring equinox which was at 3:44am today.

Meanwhile temperatures are shooting up in some areas thanks to the warm winds.  Hastings jumped 20 degrees in just 5 hours this morning and currently sits on 24, as does Gisborne, Napier, Christchurch and Oamaru.  It’s 26 in Timaru and 23 in Dunedin.

The Weather Watch Centre predicted the higher temperatures on Saturday as long range maps showed the strong nor’westers kicking in by today.


Government forecaster MetService has issued a number of winds warnings predicting gusts to 120 or 130km/h in some areas.  Details of these warnings can be found here


Have photos of the windy, warm, weather?  Share them with us!  Use the link on the right hand side of this page.


JohnGaul on 23/09/2008 12:15pm

It was windy today here in West Melton from the NW but not as strong or gusty as what I may of expected.
Mild evening. 17.5C at 11pm.
Nice to see lightning flashing away in the mountains to the west this evening. Haven’t seen that for a while.


SW on 23/09/2008 6:46am

In Auckland we dont get the NWers proper unless on the far west coast.If it goes SW then look out in Auckland for wind.

Mel on 22/09/2008 10:07pm

Hey Phil

Is this wind that the South Island are getting expected to make it as far up as Auckland in the next few days??


WW Forecast Team on 22/09/2008 11:39pm

Hey Mel,

No most of the worst wind should stay south of Central Plateau thanks to a very strong high pressure system just north east of Northland.  The centre of this high will block the winds and keep them over the lower North Island and eastern South Island.

Another high will spread in from the Tasman by Thursday too – but the weekend could be windy. 




weather-nut on 22/09/2008 9:32pm

Wow! With those sorts of ‘winds’, I wonder high the ‘gusts’ were?
Generally, gusts could be 30-40% higher than the (average) wind-speeds.

WW Forecast Team on 22/09/2008 11:34pm

Gusts recorded at 190km/h this morning at Mt Hutt and winds of almost 150km/h in Stewart Island and SW Fiordland….wouldn’t want to be taking a cruise around there today!

Philip Duncan

weather-nut on 23/09/2008 1:18am

Thanks Phil. I see even with a 75cm snow-base, Coronet Peak decided to close two weeks early, mainly due to winds of 100 km/h and rain on Sunday. I wonder if any other South Island fields will follow suite?

Föehn on 22/09/2008 8:44pm

Seems the Equinoctial winds are right on cue. Will I have any plum blossom left on my tree or will Auckland get off lightly?

WW Forecast Team on 22/09/2008 11:36pm

Our current forecast is for nor’westers to become quite breezy today – gusts in exposed places to maybe 60km/h….but most places should only be around the 30 to 40km/h mark.  Probably will blow a few of the blossums away!

The Weather Watch Team

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