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Storm: Damage and Travel predictions

The large storm in the Southern Ocean has generated a number of questions to wanting to know who will be worst affected and what damage is to be expected. is fairly confident that despite the aggressive storm brushing the country damage should be minimal, mainly due to the wind direction.

Trees and buildings are usually capable of withstanding strong westerlies as it’s our predominant wind.

As of 12noon Thursday these were our predictions:

Slips and Flooding:

Possible flooding (although we don’t expect severe flooding) along the West Coast, also about the Tararua Ranges and some western areas of the North Island between Waitomo, Taranaki and National Park.

Severe Gales: 

While we expect very windy conditions across much of the country the wind direction doesn’t favour much damage.  Branches, trees and poorly constructed roofs/barns may be damaged by gusts over 120km/h about Wellington and Wairarapa.   Strong winds may also affect Auckland but damage is expected to be minimal at this stage.


All South Island alpine roads and potentially the North Island’s Desert Road may be affected or closed by snow.  Snow may also fall to very low levels across Southland – however the snow event does not look long lived with warmer westerlies arriving by Sunday.

Huge Seas:
All Southern and Western Coastlines.   


We don’t expect Cook Strait ferry cancellations, but delays are possible with potentially slower sailing times.

Wind speeds will make for many bumpy flights across New Zealand but again airports should remain largely unaffected.

Queenstown Airport may be affected by snow from Friday afternoon to Saturday afternoon.

Wellington Airport may be affected by gale force winds from Friday to Sunday – it’s unclear what affect the winds will have on flights but most major flights shouldn’t be unaffected. says those who are concerned about flights being cancelled are best to contact the airline directly or the airport they are concerned about.


Barb on 16/09/2010 10:32pm

We are planning to go to watch Turbos vs Auckland in Palmerston North tonight. What does the weather look like for Palmy?

WW Forecast Team on 16/09/2010 11:42pm

Very windy with heavy showers and the risk of thunder.  Enjoy!

– WeatherWatch

Lani on 16/09/2010 10:17am

Hi there, how is road travel from Wellington to Auckland looking tomorrow? Hoping it isnt too bad..:)-CHEERS

WW Forecast Team on 16/09/2010 10:19am

Hi Lani

Snow is possible on the Desert Road tomorrow night… otherwise it will just be windy, showery day.  Not good driving conditions at all, but it could be worse.  

We’ll have all the links for driving conditions from 5am tomorrow.

Safe travels

– WeatherWatch

BJ Corkin on 16/09/2010 9:51am

Will we get any snow and what the prediction for Dunedin ..Thanks

WW Forecast Team on 16/09/2010 10:00am

Hi there,

We don’t expect snow in Dunedin as it’s probably going to be too dry.  Perhaps a low chance of a light flurry on the hill top suburbs late on Saturday…but that’s not in our forecast at the moment.  Dry with gusty west to north west winds Friday turning to cold sou’westers on Saturday with showers developing.

– WeatherWatch

Rachael on 16/09/2010 8:45am

Will the storm affect driving conditions from dunedin to queenstown tomorrow afternoon?

WW Forecast Team on 16/09/2010 8:52am

Hi Rachael – quite possibly.  Snow is in the forecast for the Queenstown area in the afternoon.  We’ll have all the links and info here from 5am tomorrow.

– WeatherWatch

Guest on 16/09/2010 8:15am

Any info on likelihood of being able to fly to Great Barrier tomorrow afternoon?

WW Forecast Team on 16/09/2010 8:32am

The winds will be rising to gale force around then – you’ll need to check with GBA as every airline has different thresholds as to when they can and can’t fly.


– WeatherWatch

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