Gale force winds are spreading into parts of Auckland this afternoon as a deep low in the Tasman Sea continues its slow move south. Sustained winds of 90km/h remain at Cape Reinga with gusts to 120km/h – it’s been this way for 24 hours now.
In Auckland gales are affecting coastal areas in the east and gusts at Whenuapai airbase are now being clocked at 70km/h. We expect these winds to continue to very slowly build over Auckland and Eastern Waikato for the rest of the day but die out by tomorrow afternoon or evening. Only minor damage, if any, is expected.
Rain has started to fall in the Far North with some heavy falls but only patchy rain is making it across places between there and the Bay of Islands.
Meanwhile a frosty start in the South Island today will be the last one for perhaps several days. The centre of the low in the Tasman will pass very near Fiordland tomorrow bringing with it strong to gale force northerlies or nor’westers tomorrow night and during Sunday morning.
MetService has today warned of a moderate risk of thunderstorms over the northern half of Northland and the west coast of the South Island tomorrow, mentioning a possible risk of weak but damaging tornadoes.
1500 lightning strikes have so far been recorded north west of NZ today by the Lightning Detector at WeatherWatch.co.nz.