Gale force winds have now moved in the Capital with sustained winds of 63km/h and gusts almost twice that speed at 111km/h. Winds have reached hurricane force on the hill tops around Wellington with gusts on Mt Kaukau reaching 160km/h.
Head weather analyst Philip Duncan says while Mt Kaukau is isolated it does signal the types of wind gusts motorists can expect across parts of the North Island today. “The Rimutaka Ranges, the Napier Taupo highway – basically any high altitude road will be exposed to these dangerous wind gusts”.
Our Blenheim Weather Watch reporter Anna Richards says while there is hardly a breeze in Blenheim it’s a different story out in the Sounds. “Huge gales in the Marlborough Sounds and driving rain however the ferry is still on time and the winds aren’t expected to affect the Interislander”.
Strong winds are now developing further north in Napier, New Plymouth, Hawera and Wanganui with winds reaching around 45km/h (gale force is 62) and gusting to around 70km/h or 80km/h.
Across Northland winds have picked up with gusts across Cape Reinga and in Kaikohe to 80km.h. Gales are also building across the Hauraki Gulf and the entrance to Manukau Harbour.
Mr Duncan says the winds may affect a number of travellers right across the island today. “Cars, boats and planes may be affected by this storm today with winds reaching 160km/h on the high altitude roads from Wellington to Hawkes Bay and gusts over 120km/h likely on Auckland’s Harbour Bridge this afternoon”.
“Conditions will be severe through Wellington this morning and severe in Auckland this afternoon. All commuters should take extreme care today”.
Mr Duncan says it’s calm across most of Auckland city this morning but gales this afternoon or evening could affect motorists on the Auckland Harbour bridge and may also affect ferry services. He says severe gales or heavy rain could also affect some flights in the North Island and recommends all air travellers to check flight times today.
The worst of the winds will likely be this afternoon for many places with Aucklanders expected to be at the tail end of the storm. “There’ll be some suburbs, such as downtown Auckland, that will feel the gales today, but other suburbs may be sheltered from the worst. Eastern areas from Coromandel through to Wellington will will be far more exposed to the worst of this weather”.
And for South Islanders the strong winds will move in tomorrow. “By Wednesday a strong to gale force westerly will stretch from Southland to Northland. The last week of the school holidays will be a windy one that’s for sure”.
There are a number of government weather warnings today, click here for details.
We’ll have regular updates as the day progresses, so check back throughout the day.