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WEEKEND FORECAST: Severe Gales and Rain…

November kicks off in true spring style this weekend with severe weather on the way for both islands – and it starts today in the south.

A strong nor’westerly will today kick into gear as a big squeeze zone, the entire length of the country, develops in the next 24 to 36 hours.  Head weather analyst Philip Duncan says the strong winds will be a concern to motorists.  “The squeeze zone, which is the area between a high and a low, will spread over much of New Zealand creating a very strong nor’wester.  All the usual places like Southland, Otago, Canterbury, Marlborough, Wellington, Wairarapa and southern Hawkes Bay will be most exposed to winds – reaching severe gale for some from tonight onwards”.

“Motorists need to take extreme care.  A lot of the houses and infrastructure in these areas are built to handle the gale nor’westers but motorists are not.  Trucks, vans, motorbikes and cyclists need to especially take care between Friday afternoon and Saturday afternoon as this system heads northwards”.

Mr Duncan says the worst winds will be inland and near the ranges.  “Places that are east of any main ranges in these regions will be most exposed to the severe gales”.   

Late Thursday government forecaster MetService warned that winds may reach 130km/h in exposed places.

Mr Duncan says gusts on the Rimutaka Ranges during Saturday may exceed 130km/h.

The strong winds are expected to fan warm conditions for eastern areas today and tomorrow with highs into the 20s.

Meanwhile heavy rain is in the picture for the West Coast.  Rain totals may be heavy enough to flood streams.

The main front should reach Auckland overnight Saturday and into Sunday morning with a colder southerly or sou’westerly flow behind it.  “Again we’ll feel a chill in the air following this front which may bring a short period of snow to the ranges in the South Island and maybe some hail showers lower down”.

And the crazy spring weather isn’t over yet.  The Weather Watch Centre expects another strong nor’wester to quickly move in on Monday followed by yet another wintry snap for the south on Tuesday – lowering temperatures right across the country.

“Spring has finally woken up – we’re now out of the 7 day pattern and it seems the slate is wiped clean each night with an almost completely different weather forecast for New Zealand every 24 hours!”.


SW on 30/10/2008 6:33pm

In (Auckland anyway) we have 3 seasons a year,A dry season in January to April/May where its relatively dry and sunny.A monsoon season from late May to August/early September covering winter and a Hurricane season from October to December where the South Westerlies Blow nonstop.

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