Updated 10:15pm — Damaging gales over Northland are now moving into parts of Auckland as a low near northern New Zealand pushes against a high over eastern parts of the country – creating a severe squash zone of wind.
Trees are down, roofs are off and thousands are without power as the system heads south this evening.
The NZ Herald is reporting 26,000 properties are now without power with WeatherWatch.co.nz saying the winds are yet to peak for many areas.
Main centres in the affected regions will be exposed to gusts in the 110 to 140km/h range while gusts in more exposed, remote, areas may reach 160km/h. These winds, in gusts, will be strong enough to lift roofs, break windows, blow large vehicles over, fell trees, cut power and break boats from moorings.
Gales have tonight moved into the Auckland region with powercuts north of the city increasingly marching southwards along with the belt of damaging gales out of Northland.
This afternoon MetService confirmed a gust of 168km/h at Cape Reinga – nearly 30km/h above the current wind warnings.
Across Auckland winds are gusty for some, but so far are not worse than the June gale event according to most comments WeatherWatch.co.nz has received.
However winds are yet to peak for some places. As the gales move south winds will increase between Whangarei and Auckland overnight. Not all suburbs and areas will be affected by severe gales and the winds will ease around Waikato at this stage.
While conditions are stormy, the gales aren’t being created by a single stormy low – so as the high moves away to the east and the low shifts location, the winds will spread out and change. See our wind maps to see how the belt of severe gales will ease in the coming 36 hours.
Showers are expected in Auckland overnight while rain may be heavy at times over Northland.
Do you have power cuts or wind damage? Let us know by posting a comment below (+ your town or region)
NewstalkZB has just reported 12 homes in Kaitaia have had their roofs blown off.
Across Tuesday afternoon more and more reports of powercuts and trees down were coming in from Northland.
WeatherWatch.co.nz says peak winds will arrive overnight. Northland is now receiving hurricane force winds in some exposed northern and north eastern areas.
Head weather analyst Philip Duncan says winds will reach gale force more often in Northland and Auckland this evening then intensify ovrnight, especially north of Auckland’s city centre. “It’s going to be a very windy night for parts of Northland, Auckland, Coromandel Peninsula and possibly Eastern Waikato as this belt of gales moves slowly south”.
Mr Duncan says the worst of the winds will basically stall over the Auckland and Northland regions overnight and across Wednesday, with the highest winds expected roughly between Whangarei and Auckland’s northern suburbs.
“Great Barrier Island, all of Coromandel Peninsula but especially the northern half, and those near the western Kaimai Ranges will also be exposed to potentially damaging wind gusts overnight or on Wednesday morning”.
“With gusts this strong, in such populated places, we expect damage and power cuts” says Mr Duncan. “The good news is that the area of gales is spreading out as it heads south – that also spreads out the energy and can minimise damage”.
In June’s system the winds were narrowly focused made worse by the low moving in towards Auckland. This low isn’t likely to move much closer to Auckland despite the winds building.
“On top of the recent heavy rains in northern New Zealand the soil is saturated and strong winds may topple trees easier” says Duncan. “This may also lead to further isolated power cuts and hot water cuts”.
One positive for regions exposed to the gales is that more trees have less leaves than a month ago – making branches lighter and a little less vulnerable to breaking.
HEAVY RAIN NOT THE MAIN FEATURE
While the wet nor’easter is tapping into moisture rich sub-tropical air rain doesn’t appear to be the main worrying factor with this system – despite heavy rain now pushing in across Northland.
The low doesn’t look intense enough to really pull down a lot of moisture over the country. A heavy rain warning is in place today for Northland which WeatherWatch.co.nz supports – these bands of rain may cause localised areas of minor to moderate flooding. Heavy rain may also affect Great Barrier Island, Coromandel Peninsula, the Kaimai Ranges and parts of Auckland, again with the risks of localised flooding.
However at this stage rain doesn’t appear to be the main feature of this low according to WeatherWatch.co.nz.
Wind, in the squash zone between this low and a strong high, is more widepsread than the rain – and will affect much of the upper North Island.
PLEASE NOTE: Additional rain warnings may still be issued by MetService for this event, please keep up to date with the latest news and official weather warnings.
JULY NOR’EASTER SIMILAR TO JUNE NOR’EASTER
This current wet, windy, nor’easter has similarites to the June system that ramped up last minute and caused wind damage.
“No two systems are exactly the same and this isn’t a carbon copy of the June nor’easter – but it is similar and so we have similar advisories in place: Watch for very localised but heavy downpours and winds hovering around damage threshold from eastern Waikato northwards”.
“Like the June system we may see some areas more exposed with damage and others more sheltered with no issues at all – that’s often the case in Auckland when winds are hovering around damaging force from the east north east”.
Those in northern New Zealand should be up to date with the latest weather warnings and severe weather outlooks issued by Government forecaster MetService – WeatherWatch.co.nz agrees with their advisories for this particular event.
on 8/07/2014 4:33pm
is it safe to travel this morning ? Greenlane howling now! (4:30am)
on 8/07/2014 8:44am
Hi, I love this website. Always refer to it to keep up to date with the weather.
When will the wind peak in Auckland City tonight?
on 8/07/2014 9:30am
Hi there – thanks for the feedback Sarah. Winds will peak overnight, tricky sometimes to pinpoint but at the moment the current thinking is after midnight and before dawn. For some suburbs/areas it could be 3 hours either side of that.
Cheers and hope the power stays on where you are!
– WW Team
on 8/07/2014 4:09am
Is the expectatioon that the worst of the gales won’t affect the southern Coromandel tonight, but tomorrow if at all?
on 8/07/2014 5:09am
The period of strongest winds for southern Coromandel will be from later this evening / midnight and through till mid / late afternoon tomorrow.
on 8/07/2014 3:21am
Hi WW. This present storm reminds me of a similar event in 2007 July 9-10th. The winds were a little more southeast from memory but the winds were just as volotile. I has pine trees on my last property at Wellsford that were twenty years old and lost a few that snapped off 3 metres above ground level. I believe one of the wind recorders off Whangaparoa jammed at 180kph. Hopefully not this time round.
Here just south of Waipu the winds are now starting to gust stronger than last night.
Rainfall has been moderate.
Hopefully we can all get through this one without too much damage and injury.