Gales picked up overnight over southern and central parts of the country as a northwesterly made itself known, lifting night time temperatures but also delivering some heavy rain in the south.
It’s the North Island however feeling most of the gales with Castlepoint approaching 130 kph in some big gusts while Mt Kaukau near Wellington is exceeding 110kph in a few big blows this morning.
The capital is also feeling the impact of the wind with the airport seeing winds top the 80kph mark.
The South Island isn’t completely missing out, as the gales howl over Greymouth and Hokitika with both centres recording wind gusts in excess of 80kph.
Weather Analyst Richard Green says, ” It’s not just the wind but the rain that will be a talking point today and tomorrow, especially in the west. It’s likely that some big, thundery falls will again fall on top of the recent soaking, making the area more sodden”. Green goes on to say, ” If there is one positive out of this system, temperatures will be warmer after last weeks cold spell but that will come at a small cost, with the winds certainly being gusty “.
Today as the front heads north, conditions are expected to ease once the front moves through, however tomorrow another bout of severe weather is expected and maybe more significant according to Green with very heavy rain and severe gales in some exposed regions in central and western areas.
Rain is is falling on the coast this morning but some of those falls are spreading east with Queenstown and Wanaka recording some heavy falls within the last hour.
Temperatures are quite mild across the country with the mid teens being quite commonplace in a number of areas.
Skifields over the last week or two have seen some big snowfalls with more than a metre falling in some cases but local operators are hoping that the nor’ westers wont melt too much snow, as the winds tend to be colder at this time of year about the tops.
The northwesterly is expected to come and go over the weekend, bringing with it higher than average temperatures for mid May but Monday sees the beginning of much colder air taking hold over much of the South Island.
on 14/05/2009 10:45pm
A bank branch in Willis St, Wellington has closed for at least this morning owing to “several wind damage”- I am not sure if this means several points of damage or severe damage. Nothing obvious when passing.
Also I heard that there has been some flooding in one building in Cuba St, not known if there were others at this stage.
on 14/05/2009 10:15pm
Soon after I wrote that last post it settled down to just showers, that was quick!
on 14/05/2009 10:03pm
It has got very dark here and is pouring with rain. I don’t have a view from my desk, but lightning detector certainly shows there are thunderstorms around and a colleague reported lightning 5 minutes ago. Was unaware of the situation till just now, and was about to go out and do a message till I saw two twitter alerts, one of which described the conditions as “apocalyptic!”