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Parts of Dunedin without power for 13 hours & counting after damaging winds

Damaging winds above hurricane force (120km/h) hit Dunedin last night for a few hours cutting power, damaging roofs and splitting trees like twigs.

Because public weather data is limited in New Zealand there isn’t much info out there on specific wind speeds, with the power cut at the airport also cutting ties with data overnight. However private and other reliable weather stations showed winds hit over 150km/h in exposed parts of Dunedin, while another report at Mid Dome (top of a hill) reported a gust to 170km/h.

This morning people are boiling water in pots over fire stoves with the power out for the 13th hour.

It’s colder today too – just 8 degrees as of 8:30am, but those in Dunedin will be pleased to know the worst of the winds are well and truly over – and across Friday a high rolls in. Tomorrow the warmth returns.

While the term “hurricane force” isn’t used by our Govt forecaster (they use ‘severe gale’) it is acceptable and commonly used by forecasters across Australia, USA and western nations all over the world – and simply refers to sustained winds (at least 10 mins) above 120km/h.  CNN International based in the US and Weatherzone in Australia also confirmed to today that the term is “perfectly acceptable” to be used for winds outside of the tropics and is used “frequently” by them and many other forecasters globally as it’s an international standard.

Today the low responsible for the strong winds is pushing further east and out to sea – but blustery cold southerlies up to 60km/h or so are still affecting Christchurch to Wellington – but will ease later this morning and across the afternoon.

Windier, colder, weather will move up the North Isand’s east coast today – but damaging gusts are not in the forecast.

Conditions ease in most places overnight – and it will be cold tonight in the south, getting close to freezing for some inland!

“Brewing morning cuppa on the barbie here in Portobello. Still no power after 13 hours – #DUNEDIN” – By Twitter user and Dunedin resident @iangriffin



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