12 Noon Update
Windy conditions have again returned to a number of places across New Zealand but there will be no repeat of yesterday’s hurricane force winds
By noon strong winds were blowing across the lower North Island however still remained 10 to 15km/h shy of gale force (sustained winds of 62km/h). The only place with gales was Castlepoint which had gusts up to 113km/h last hour.
Strong winds have also returned to the South Island with Canterbury and Kaikoura especially exposed to the nor’wester.
Across Southland and Central Otago strong winds and cold air meant temperatures were struggling to rise. At 11am it was only 6 degrees in Gore and just 4 in Lumsden. It was 8 degrees in Invercargill.
Further north and the strong nor’wester had lifted Kaikoura, Napier and Gisborne to 17 degrees.
At least 2 or 3 more cold fronts will pass over the country during the next 24 to 48 hours and while today should be relatively mild tomorrow is not looking as warm, especially in the south and west of both islands.
Head weather analyst Philip Duncan says many southern and western districts will be struggling to make it into the early or mid teens. “Auckland, for example, is likely to only reach 15 or 16 degrees tomorrow and with the wind chill it’ll feel more like 10 or 11 – perhaps a slight taste of winter after a recent taste of summer”.
Mr Duncan says centres south of Wellington will be lucky to reach the teens and possibly even double digits as the arctic air temporarily moves in.
“The air is being pulled up by the south west flow along the bottom right hand side of a large high in the Tasman. That high should move over the top half of New Zealand on Saturday and spread to most places on Sunday meaning the weekend should herald a return to more settled weather”.
Mr Duncan says from today until Friday the west will be showery, windy and cooler while the east will be dry, windy and mild.
He says early next week strong nor’westers may return to southern and central parts of New Zealand. “We’ll know more about this by the end of the week”.
Yesterday’s storm brought chaos to Wellington with damage to roofs, a truck blown over, flights cancelled and State Highway 2 over the Rimutaka Ranges closed for quarter of the day.
In Auckland winds gusting to 150km/h blasted the Manukau Heads with One News reporting a man had been injured when a small shed crashed on to him.
Sustained winds hovered around gale force (62km/h is gale force) from late yesterday afternoon across many Auckland suburbs but gusts failed to reach over 90km/h for most areas, with estimates that winds of 120km/h only affected the central city amongst the high rises where a “wind tunnel” effect took place.