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+ Good news – settled weather finally on the way!
A LOW that roared over Stewart Island this morning delivering winds up to hurricane force in some areas is now moving out to sea – and taking the worst of the winds with it.
The strongest gust was 152km/h recorded this morning on Wellington’s hilltops.   TRN’s Weather Watch Centre is still advising motorists to avoid the Rimutaka Ranges today if possible – especially motorbikes and large vehicles.
Head Weather Analyst Philip Duncan says gale force westerlies are still pounding eastern parts of New Zealand especially about southern Hawke’s Bay and Wairarapa.  “We’re still recording gusts to about 120km/h in these areas with gusts to almost 100km/h around Wellington’s hilltops, but they should ease this evening”.
In the South Island Kaikoura was pounded by winds of 115km/h earlier today as was Dunedin, but they have both eased slightly with gusts close to 90km/h.
The drama started this morning when Invercargill was hit by severe gales.  “The good news is that gusts are now only reaching 80km/h in the town and will continue to ease this afternoon”. 
Duncan says there is more good news.  “While tomorrow will be another windy day for most, a large high will move onto New Zealand on Friday and cover most of New Zealand for the weekend.  This is the first significant high (anticyclone) we’ve seen since September, so expect light winds for most of the country this weekend”. 
And for those worried about frosts, Duncan says they should be pretty light, if any at all.  “They’ll be confined to the South Island’s interior and at this stage the air temperature isn’t forecast to drop below 1 or 2 degrees”.  He says Sunday morning is likely to be the coldest night of the week across the South Island.



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