Winds in the South Island are reaching gale force in exposed places with Kaikoura getting pounded by the strong winds.
In the past hour the weather station at Kaikoura has stopped sending reports.
At 1:30pm the nor’westers were averaging 80km/h (gale is 62) with gusts to 113km/h.
Police say the high winds are causing problems in north Canterbury and Kaikoura.
A police southern communications spokesman said a number of trees had been blown down on State Highway One today and roofs had been blown off in Kaikoura.
“Motorists are warned to take care when travelling through this area,” the spokesman said.
“There is a large amount of wind blown debris.”
The winds are helping fan warmer temperatures though. It’s currently 22 in Kaikoura and 26 in Christchurch.
WeatherWatch.co.nz believes most of the strong winds will be on the eastern slopes of the Southern Alps and on the plains near the mountains. Kaikoura is the only main centre that is close enough to the ranges to receive the heavy winds.