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Wintry blast heads north

9:30pm stats

Severe gales in Kaikoura.  Southerlies averaging 90km/h with gusts close to 130km/h.

Temperatures 7, 8 and 9 degrees from Southland to coastal Otago and Canterbury and North Canterbury.

Gales on Wellingtons hill tops.

Heaviest rain around Akaroa and Christchurch.

7:45pm update

A fast moving winter blast has started to set in across parts of the country with winds reaching gale force in a number of places.

Christchurch is the most recent city to feel the cold snap with temperatures plummeting shortly after 5pm.  Weather Analyst Richard Green said in just 14 minutes the temperature fell from 24 degrees to 12.

Winds around gale force are blasting the city with gusts over 80km/h.  At Akaroa winds are estimated to be gusting over 100km/h.  As of 7pm it was just 6 degrees.  It appears the far tip of Banks Peninsula is receiving some of the worst weather from this system.

In Invercargill gusty winds are continuing to strengthen.  Around 6pm gusts neared 100km/h in the city however they’ve backed off a little in the past 60 minutes.  It will likely only be temporary as wind gusts are now reaching 120km/h on Stewart Island, earlier they were at 90.

It’s cold too, just 8 degrees in Invercargill last hour (currently on 10).

Dunedin has  gusts over 80km/h with just 9 degrees at 7pm.

Further north and gales have reached Cook Strait and the hills around Wellington currently gusting over 100km/h.  85km/h gusts are buffeting Paraparumu, the Kapiti Coast and Manawatu.

120km/h gusts are being recorded at Castlepoint in Wairarapa.

Earlier story

Head weather analyst Philip Duncan says this is just the beginning of a wild and cold 24 hours for eastern and southern regions.  “Eastern areas will see some big wind gusts over the next 24 hours while cold sou’westers will significantly drop temperatures from Southland to Wellington”.

Mr Duncan says many centres from Invercargill to Dunedin and up to Wellington may struggle to reach double digits Wednesday.  “While we may see highs in the low double digits much of the day will feel significantly colder due to the wind chill.  Closer to freezing in parts of Southland and coastal Otago especially”.

“By Thursday we’ll see a significant improvement as a high in the Tasman strengthens over the country” says Duncan. “This will help push the low and cold air out into the Pacific Ocean, however some cold nights may be on the way for the South Island”.

Weather for Womad in Taranaki this weekend is looking sunny with south’easterlies at this stage.

MetService has issued wind warnings for Hawkes Bay, Wairarapa and Canterbury predicting gales of 65km/h gusting to 120km/h affecting the North Island between 6pm tonight and 6am tomorrow, and the South Island between 2am and 2pm tomorrow.



Guest on 10/03/2009 9:07am

Hi, we apparently had a freak wind storm which blew down some power lines and started a fire causing power cuts. We never saw the wind storm but did see the clouds go around us to the north then to the east, and they were unusual. Its quite windy here.

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