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SERIOUS WINDS YET TO PEAK

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Severe gales are continuing to lash Southland this morning.  As per the update at 7:30am here: http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/anndetail.asp?annid=1264 winds are reaching close to 130km/h in Invercargill and averaging 90km/h.
The entire lower part of the South Island is being hammered by severe gales which are expected to peak in the next hour or so, then ease off this afternoon as the system moves away. 
At Dunedin airport gales are being clocked at 90km/h with gusts reaching 100km/h in Gore
Further south and Stewart Island is receiving hurricane force gusts to 140km/h.
Meanwhile in the North Island it’s yet another windy day with severe gales on Wellington’s hilltop suburbs reaching 125km/h and up to 105km/h near Mana
Gusts to 90km/h are affecting regions north of Gisborne this hour and over 80km/h in exposed parts of Auckland.

 


GALES STARTING TO EASE

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+ Good news – settled weather finally on the way!
 
A LOW that roared over Stewart Island this morning delivering winds up to hurricane force in some areas is now moving out to sea – and taking the worst of the winds with it.
The strongest gust was 152km/h recorded this morning on Wellington’s hilltops.   TRN’s Weather Watch Centre is still advising motorists to avoid the Rimutaka Ranges today if possible – especially motorbikes and large vehicles.
Head Weather Analyst Philip Duncan says gale force westerlies are still pounding eastern parts of New Zealand especially about southern Hawke’s Bay and Wairarapa.  “We’re still recording gusts to about 120km/h in these areas with gusts to almost 100km/h around Wellington’s hilltops, but they should ease this evening”.
In the South Island Kaikoura was pounded by winds of 115km/h earlier today as was Dunedin, but they have both eased slightly with gusts close to 90km/h.
The drama started this morning when Invercargill was hit by severe gales.  “The good news is that gusts are now only reaching 80km/h in the town and will continue to ease this afternoon”. 
Duncan says there is more good news.  “While tomorrow will be another windy day for most, a large high will move onto New Zealand on Friday and cover most of New Zealand for the weekend.  This is the first significant high (anticyclone) we’ve seen since September, so expect light winds for most of the country this weekend”. 
And for those worried about frosts, Duncan says they should be pretty light, if any at all.  “They’ll be confined to the South Island’s interior and at this stage the air temperature isn’t forecast to drop below 1 or 2 degrees”.  He says Sunday morning is likely to be the coldest night of the week across the South Island.
 

 


SEVERE WINDS BUILDING…TRAVEL WARNINGS ISSUED

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Strong winds are building over New Zealand as a large high to the north west pushes against a deep low to the south.  Winds are reaching hurricane force across the lower North Island with gales spreading right across eastern parts of the North Island.  “New Zealand is basically in the squeeze zone between these two systems.  While it should be dry and mild for most holiday spots for the remainder of Labour Weekend it is certainly going to be windy” says Head Weather Analyst Philip Duncan.
Winds of 150km/h (hurricane force) are currently being clocked at Castlepoint and Duncan warns motorists crossing the Rimutaka Ranges to take extreme care.  “These winds are not just gusty, they’re also incredibly dangerous and easily capable of blowing cars off roads”.  He advises motorbikes and large vehicles to completely avoid the area.
Further north and winds close to 100km/h are affecting inland Hawke’s Bay.  MetService has issued a severe wind warning, expecting gusts to 120km/h overnight tonight.
Duncan says he expects winds to strengthen further and on Monday could be severe in some areas.  He says those flying home from airports in the lower North Island on Monday should keep up to date with weather conditions and their airline in case of flight delays or cancellations.

 


LABOUR WEEKEND WEATHER

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"Not perfect, but not a write-off either"

 

 

STORY:

 

-looking great, plenty of sun and temperatures warming as the weekend continues. Pretty cold nights in Rotorua and Tauranga.

 

 

 

The forecast for our first long weekend in 4 months isn't perfect but according to the Radio Network's Weather Watch Centre it's not a complete write-off either - certainly for most of our traditional holiday spots.
"The situation is that a large high pressure system will stand strong in the Tasman and it's ridge will just clip northern regions. It'll be strong enough to block or slow down cold fronts attacking from the south" says head weather analyst Philip Duncan "But the squeeze zone - which creates strong winds between the high in the north and lows in the south - will cover all of New Zealand south of Central Plateau".
Duncan says that means windy, warm and sunny for some - showery and cold for others.
 

 

BRIEF FORECAST FOR YOUR HOLIDAY SPOT:

 

Bay of Islands, Coromandel Peninsula, Bay of Plenty, Rotorua

 

Typical Auckland mixed bag. Cool west or south west winds, blustery downtown and about the coast, long sunny spells and of course, the low chance of a brief shower.

 

- Lots of sun, but winds will pick up on Sunday or Monday...could reach gale in Hawke's Bay.

 

- cloudy periods and windy - especially on Sunday and Monday. Could be some showers north of Kapiti later in the weekend but they'll be brief.

 

- Should be quite sunny and warm with strong warm nor westers developing.

 

- A wet start then dry Sunday, but showers return on Monday. Strong winds - may be up to gale force later.

 

- cold and windy and there may also be a few showers at either end of the weekend.

 

Queenstown
Dunedin
Marlbourgh & Christchurch
Taupo & Taranaki to Wellington
Gisborne & Hawke's Bay
Auckland -

 


GALES, LIGHTNING, MINOR FLOODING

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Severe winds are continuing to blast across New Zealand today with westerlies gusting to gale force in most main centres in the North Island.    Exposed parts of Auckland are being battered about by gusts to 115km/h, with downtown Auckland receiving some hefty gusts between the high rise buildings. 
Gales gusting to 70km/h are also affecting East Cape and Hawke’s Bay towns and everywhere south of Central Plateau.
Meanwhile a rash of thunderstorms rumbled over Wanganui late this morning causing minor surface flooding.  The band of thunderstorms is moving northwards and is likely to affect Waikato, Auckland and Northland tonight.  The latest lightning tracker shows a line of thunderstorms from Wanganui up to Raglan.
The South Island is also taking a hammering today with winds gusting to gale force north of Christchurch, while in Southland and Otago the predicted cold snap has arrived.  “it’s just 5 or 6 degrees in Southland at the moment along with a strong southerly.  The wind chill will be below zero” says the Radio Network’s head weather analyst Philip Duncan.
Another windy day is likely tomorrow but showers and winds will ease during the day for most places.

 


YOUR LABOUR WEEKEND FORECAST!

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We're the first cab off the rank with the long range prediction and it's certainly going to be a "spring packed weekend of weather" for our first public holiday in 4 months, according to the Radio Network's head weather analyst Philip Duncan.
"Spring is attacking us from every angle" says Duncan "but hopefully the long weekend wont be as bad as the past week has been".
In a nut shell, the further north and east you are the better. A large high will dominate the northern Tasman Sea, blocking rain and strong winds from northern regions. "This high will spread onto northern New Zealand bringing settled weather to popular holiday spots in Northland, Coromandel Peninsula and Bay of Plenty".
Duncan says eastern places such as Hawke's Bay, Marlborough and Canterbury should also see a relatively dry weekend, however winds could be gusty.
The worst places to be will be the South Island's west and south coasts. "Although the very cold snap today (Wednesday) should ease by the weekend, it will still be a windy, showery and relatively cold weekend across these parts of the country".
The brief forecast for your holiday spot:
Northland & Coromandel - looking great, plenty of sun and temperatures warming as the weekend continues. Cold nights though.
Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Hawke's Bay - Lots of sun, but winds will pick up on Sunday or Monday...could be very strong in Hawke's Bay. Gisborne may also have a shower or two on Saturday as a low to the east scoots past.
Rotorua/Taupo - Cold and windy to start with, then conditions should improve. Not perfect but not terrible either. Very cold Friday night and maybe Saturday too.
Taranaki to Wellington - cloudy periods and windy - especially on Sunday and Monday with gales possibly returning (yes again).
Marlbourgh, Canterbury and Otago - Should be quite sunny, strong winds and warmer temperatures (Nor westers mainly). Dunedin might see a few showers though.
Queenstown - cold and windy and there may also be a few showers. Fingers crossed for fine spells. Risk of rain remains low, around 30%.
 
As with any long range forecast, especially in Spring, things can change. We'll have another update for Friday morning to fine tune this forecast.
Forecast compiled independently by the Weather Watch Centre.

 


ANOTHER WEEK OF STRONG WINDS

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Another week of westerly winds reaching gale force is on the cards for many parts of the country this week.  A large high over Australia and the western Tasman combined with deep lows in the Southern Ocean means the winds will be from the South West or West and will be gusty at times.
“It will almost be wintry with more squally showers today and again later in the week.  The winds will be strong at times right across New Zealand, will cooler conditions in the west and north and warmer weather in the east” says the Radio Network’s head weather analyst.  “Gales are likely again right across New Zealand any day this week – but especially the next 3 days”.
MetService has issued 5 severe wind warnins from Wellington to Hawke’s Bay today, expecting gusts to 140km/h in some areas later today and overnight.
Will it clear by Labour Weekend?
“At this stage it’s looking to set to be less windy but cooler for Labour Weekend, with the best weather in northern areas.  Showers clearing with southerlies turning south west is the basic forecast at this stage.  But it’s Spring and things are changeable”.  The Weather Watch Centre will issue the main Labour Weekend forecast for New Zealand on Wednesday.

 


YOUR WEEKEND: WINDY & WARM then WET, WINDY & COOL

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More typical spring weather is on the way this weekend with two lows and two fronts bearing down on the entire country.   “Saturday morning should be dry for many places but the weather will start to pack up pretty quickly as those fronts approach” says Head Weather Analyst Philip Duncan.  “By afternoon heavy rain will set in across the South Island’s west coast, with showers turning to rain in western and northern areas of the North Island later in the day”.

Duncan says the two fronts will pass over New Zealand on Saturday night preceded by a strong nor’west flow – which he says could reach gale force in the South Island interior and about Wellington.  But there is an upside of the strong winds.   “The warming effect of the nor’wester means a number of places will make it into the lower and even mid twenties tomorrow, particularly if you live in the far north and the east of both islands”. 
But the mix of warm and cold air means thunderstorms are likely again.  MetService is expecting the top half of NZ to get some tomorrow afternoon and evening and some may be severe.
But make the most of Saturday morning because Sunday morning will be a different story.  Duncan says winds will swing to the south west and will be strong in exposed places.  “It’ll almost be a bit wintry – with cold southerlies in Southland and Otago and south west winds bringing heavy squalls to western areas”.

 


RAIN ARRIVES BUT LACKS PUNCH

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+ WHENS OUR NEXT SUNNY SPELL?

The forecast heavy rain for central NZ has yet to be fully realised for some however much of the central part of the nation has received a dollop or two.

The eastern part of the South Island today may still be in the firing line but in the hours from midnight till 6am, Christchurch had received just 12mm which is more of a gentle soaking rain than anything too significant.

Northerners have also seen some liquid sunshine in the last 24 hours but most of that has cleared away overnight and this morning with Thursday starting with mild temperatures for many.   Tauranga and Whakatane have started the morning on 16 degrees with a number of northern centres closely following behind and that follows highs yesterday in the low 20's for those towards the tip of the country however down south, murky conditions about eastern areas kept it very cool but it was Westland and Fiordlands chance to shine with the mercury nudging the low 20's

If you're wondering when the next fine, settled spell is coming along, tomorrow a chunk of the country should see some October rays but unfortunately for most of us, the weekend doesn't look like we are going to
break any sunshine records!

Story by South Island weather analyst Richard Green
 

 


A WET DAY OR TWO FOR CENTRAL FOLK

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This Spring continues to gives us variety and today is no exception as a system moving in from the Tasman is expected to provide the centre of the nation with rain and some heavy falls are in the mix as well.
After Nor' west rain recently topped up many Mainland rivers, this time the winds are switching direction and not only feeding the foothills again but the plains and other low lying areas look like they're in for a soaking.

The Government watchdog has issued warnings for parts of Nelson, Marlborough and Canterbury today and in some cases tomorrow too. 50mm is on the cards for Nelson city and Christchurch may receive totals
between 60 and 100 millimetres through till tomorrow which is more than the October average.

An interesting note is that when the winds come in from this NE direction, there is a tendency for the rain to settle in and potentially accumulate very quickly.  Already this morning the rain has moved into the middle of the country and gradually heading further south.

The rest of the country at the moment is generally dry but for those in the north, this should be short lived, as rain moves in later today but for the south, a dry Wednesday is in store and probably the best weather in the country is Southland, which is the reverse of last weekend!

Temperatures will be nippy along the east of the South Island with the rain moving in but elsewhere the thermometer is looking like where it should be for the second week of October

Story by South Island weather analyst Richard Green

International Weather Centre
For those of you who have friends or family living in the USA or Canada - you might find this interesting. In Canada, October usually brings the first major frosts of the year (just a 1 week after Summer ends there!). Last year a big snow storm broke records as it blanketed parts of Ontario, south of Toronto and western parts of New York state, including the city of Buffalo. But this year areas east of the Rockies in both countries are suffering from a massive heat wave. Temperatures near Toronto are reaching 28 and 29 degrees during the day and still only dipping to around 18 at night - and this has been consistantly happening for well over 3 months! South of the border and into America and the south eastern states such as the Carolinas and Georgia and northern Florida have been reaching well into the 30s - even touching on the 40's for months now - and that doesn't even take the humidity into consideration!
The reason for the hot weather? Well, some say it's La Nina - and thats bumped the Arctic jet stream further north. Jet Streams are like motorways of air - and they mark and area where temperatures change. In North America the jet stream plays as bigger part in their daily weather maps as cold fronts do on ours. The jet stream, thanks to La Nina's weather patterns, has been bumped well north - so that cold arctic air is staying put - for now. But as the weeks tick by, that cold air pressure will grow - and snow storms will gradually move south to the US/Canada border by November probably - and by February it will be brutal. But for now they're all enjoying an Indian summer.
Story by TRN's head weather analyst Philip Duncan.