Your web browser (Internet Explorer) is out of date. Some things will not look right and things might not work properly. Please download an up-to-date and free browser from here.

Travel Troubles: Further highway closures, Some Wellington flights cancelled & delayed

Updated 11:29am — Heavy snow has shut more State Highways in the North Island today while flights continue to be cancelled and delayed at Wellington due to gale force southerlies.

Some flights are managing to take off and depart from Wellington.

As of 11:20am winds were averaging 70km/h and gusting to 110km/h in the city and Wellington Airport. 

Winds of 167km/h have been recorded in Cook Strait today where said yesterday would be the place most affected by these winds over Thursday – and hurricane force winds will remain through the Strait today.

At this stage we still expect that the southerly winds peaked during Thursday morning and while they should ease back a bit across Thursday PM gale force winds and some flight problems are expected to last across much of the day there.

The good news is that some flights are still operating – the bad news is that many more are cancelled or delayed.

We expect winds to very slowly easy back a bit as we head through Thursday PM.

Rain is now spreading into the lower North Island from the east – and this will continue as heavy snow through the Central North Island and is why says further highway closures or problems are possible today.

As of 10:45am SH1, SH4, SH49, SH46 and SH47 are all CLOSED around Central Plateau.


  • As forecast SH5 Napier to Taupo is now CLOSED due to snow and ice. 
  • SH2 between BOP and Gisborne is CLOSED due to a slip, NZTA confirms.
  • SH41 between Taumarunui and Turangi is now CLOSED due to snow and ice.
  • This means the ONLY alternative route if driving between Wellington and Auckland is via SH3 via TARANAKI

As exclusively forecast back on Monday all highways in the Central North Island are vulnerable to heavy snow today with as much as half a metre possible in higher exposed elevations (like the Desert Road).

Further road closures are likely across Thursday and Friday in the North Island – but conditions improve quickly across Friday in most areas.

– Image / Winds howling through Cook Strait today, areas in purple indicate severe gales / Weathermap

– Travel



Guest on 13/07/2017 3:59am

I think we are having a storm as defined by the Oxford dictionary.
Here in Wellington it is a Southerly storm.

WW Forecast Team on 13/07/2017 4:07am

Yes, certainly! As we said last weekend this isnt a storm overall BUT will produce “localised stormy weather capable of producing severe weather” – this is why it’s not a howling gale everywhere, it’s just through the Cook Strait to Taranaki area. In saying that – yes you could absolutely call this is a Southerly Storm for Wellington. But not a storm for NZ.  (otherwise when an actual storm hits we have no words left to describe it!)

Phil 🙂

Celtickiwi on 12/07/2017 11:26pm

Hi all, if you are in a situation where you HAVE to take SH3, be aware it will be an uncomfortable trip with the wind. I’m in Hawera, South Taranaki and it is blustery enough to push empty rubbish bins up the street. Some heavy belts of rain fell on Tuesday night but yesterday and today little rain has fallen. It is very damp grey and windy. Your biggest problem will be wind gusts, road spray/mist and debri on the road, I imagine. Be safe 🙂

WW Forecast Team on 12/07/2017 11:29pm

Very helpful update for motorists having to go through Taranaki today/tonight. Thanks a lot!



Celtickiwi on 13/07/2017 1:38am

Cheers WW. Heres another update! About twenty minutes after I my first comment a strong gust of wind went through and the gusts have been very strong ever since. The town Fire Siren/Alarm has gone off about three or four times – our local Fire boys and girls are busy. Its either one major event they are needing backup on or multiple smaller events. The lights have been flickering and I heard one of my relatives has a large tree fallen across their driveway.

Went out for drive before and driving at 50kmhr the wind is knocking the car.

Aha! Just learnt a truck has tipped over some where locally. That will be what the Fire Service is busy with.

Zelda on 12/07/2017 9:40pm

Coldest, gusty morning in New Lynn SW.
Definitely not calm, as breeze continued thru the night.

Rotorua82 on 12/07/2017 9:22pm

Its snowing on the hills around rotorua. Any chance of it snowing in town?

WW Forecast Team on 12/07/2017 9:52pm

I wouldn’t have thought so. There is snow close by in Mamaku as you say, however it is 560 meters above sea level where as Rotorua is 280 meters. However the weather can throw surprises at you, but mostly I would be saying it doesn’t seem very likely but a small chance you could see some flurries.


Related Articles