Wind and rain lash North Island

Last updated 11:23 05/01/2014

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A weather bomb hitting the country is lashing the capital with high winds and heavy rains and prompting warnings for motorists.

MetService has issued a severe weather warning for heavy rain and severe northwest gales for the central and lower North Island today.

The New Zealand Transport Agency has issued a high wind warning for people travelling on motorbikes, in caravans and high-sided vehicles to take extra care on the Rimutaka Hill road.

The front and associated low, preceded by a very moist and strong northwest flow, was expected to move east over central and northern New Zealand through the day.

Rain over western and central areas was expected to be heavy at times ahead of the front.

Heavy rain that fell about the Tararua Range and Mt Taranaki was expected to ease around midday today, with another 50 to 70mm expected, and ease about Taumarunui and Tongariro National Park this afternoon, with a further 40mm to 60mm likely there.

Gale northwesterlies are likely about the central and lower North Island and also the upper South Island ahead of the front. 

Severe northwesterly gales, with gusts up to 120kmh in exposed places, buffeting the Marlborough Sounds and Wellington should ease around midday and in Wairarapa this afternoon.

People are advised that heavy rain is likely to cause streams and rivers to rise rapidly, surface flooding and slips.

While winds of this strength may bring down trees and power lines, damage insecure structures and make driving hazardous, especially for motorcycles and high-sided vehicles.

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- The Dominion Post

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