WeatherWatch.co.nz is warning travel plans may be affected by severe weather this weekend as the wintry outbreak continues. Gales, heavy snow and heavy rain are back in the forecast for a number of regions.
Head weather analyst Philip Duncan says whether you’re going by car, plane or ferry, weather conditions may cause serious travel problems.
A number of new severe weather warnings have been issued by MetService.
Heavy snow warnings are in place for the Central Plateau tonight and tomorrow with snow falling as low as 600 metres. WeatherWatch.co.nz says this could affect highways on either side of Mt Ruapehu and may also affect State Highway 5, Napier to Taupo.
MetService has wind and rain warnings also in place for Central New Zealand and Canterbury with snow also falling as low as 500 metres there. However WeatherWatch.co.nz believes snow may be lower in Canterbury to possibly 300 to 400 metres as this stage.
Philip Duncan says motorists driving through the Central North Island tonight and especially tomorrow may face road closures or delays. “Snow flurries are possible this afternoon and evening but heavier snow is likely tomorrow as the low east of New Zealand backtracks towards us and adds rain to the cold air over the central North Island”.
“Motorists driving on State Highway 2 over the Rimutaka Ranges may also face hazardous conditions with gusts as high as 130km/h”.
Mr Duncan also says Cook Strait ferries may face delays or even cancellations with rough seas developing. “Swells as high as traffic lights, around 5 metres, will plough through Cook Strait along with severe gales gusting 120km/h”.
“There’s also the potential for flight delays right across the country with ice, gales and heavy rain possible at a number of airports in both islands”.