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Last day of winter but it’s all about spring; Severe gales overnight

It’s the last day of winter but it’s certainly all about spring today as strong to gale force westerlies continue to blast exposed parts of the country.

Yesterday winds gusting to 130km/h around Wellington delayed flights and as the night wore on those strong winds headed north with gusts to 145km/h around the Bay of Islands, 110km/h in the Far North and over 100km/h on the Manukau Heads as exclusively predicted by

In Auckland winds reach gale force at times early this morning in exposed coastal areas.

Gusts between 80 and 90km/h blew through Paeroa, Whakatane, Matamata and Napier with winds reaching gale force at times.

Gale force winds blew through New Plymouth too with gusts to 85km/h. 

However despite wind warnings from Canterbury to Wairarapa of up to 140km/h by government forecaster MetService most populated centres were spared winds of that nature. readers said it was certainly windy in both Wellington and eventually in Auckland with rain causing a few minor problems around Wellington at the time this story was written.  However as of midnight last night WeatherWatch had received no reports of damage.

Head weather analyst Philip Duncan believes the low probably moved too quickly away from the country to cause serious problems.  “The low was a nasty one alright and warranted warnings – however it moved very quickly away from New Zealand, taking it’s energy with it.  I think that may be why the winds weren’t as severe as the warnings predicted”.

Weather analyst Richard Green said the strong winds always looked like a North Island event.  “The weather maps on Sunday morning indicated the worst of the weather would be across the North Island’s east coast, around Wellington and the top north east corner of the South Island”. 

Mr Green says it was certainly windy across inland Canterbury, Kaikoura and Banks Peninsula but Christchurch as relatively calm. 

Today the Weather Watch Centre predicts severe gales about the Tararua Ranges and possibly into parts of Wairarapa with strong to gale winds possible around exposed parts of Auckland and inland Canterbury.

By this evening the winds will quickly die out in the top half of the North Island but remain strong or gusty elsewhere.

At 10pm last night all main centres in the North Island were between 13 and 16 degrees – today should be mild for most places across New Zealand – another indication that winter 2009 is well and truly over.


Were the weather warnings appropriate?

Do you have any reports of damage, or, tales of the weather overnight? 

Post your comments below!


SW on 30/08/2009 8:13pm

Westerly gusty though its dry.Can see the small male pine cones blowing like a swarm of bees.

Guest on 30/08/2009 7:39pm

Some years ago, Metservice issued severe weather warmings for the upper North Island as a cyclone tracked toward New Zealand. It was christmas holiday time with many families were camping, so Metservice was very vocal about their warnings. Some people packed up and went home. Others shifted into Motels. The severe event didn’t happen and some people complained that their holiday had been ruined. If that severe weather had arrived and people hadn’t been warned and life or property had been lost, people would have blamed Metservice for not telling them. I understand that cyclones are strange beasts that can change direction at any time. I would rather be warned of severe events and the event not happen, than not be told at all.

karamu49 on 30/08/2009 7:20pm

Well, The Mamaku /Kaimai ranges were well and truly battered. at around 2am it reached it peak with both wind and rain. Mamaku. which lies 22km north of Rotorua is exposed as its near the highest point of the ranges. I do agree with the severe warnings, however most times they do tend to become alarmist but as the saying goes, “dont say we didnt warn you”. No damage as of yet, but wind still quite blustery with some strong gusts but no rain. I find your coverage of the weather reports quite refreshing compared to staid old met service.

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