Rain, gales to hit Wellington

20:01, Jun 29 2014

A severe weather watch for northerly gales has been issued for Wellington today while Cook Strait has a storm warning in place.

A front moving across the country today was expected to bring northerly gales to Taranaki, Marlborough and Wellington this morning and afternoon, MetService said.

They could become severe, with gusts up to 100kmh and periods of rain expected in Wellington.

The Cook Strait storm warning was for northerly winds rising to more than 90kmh late this morning and for high seas.

The West Coast was first to be hit by a front overnight, with Westport receiving 35mm of rain between midnight and 6am, MetService said.

That rain was predicted to continue to hit Westland today and stretch into Taranaki by the early morning, the agency said.

Severe weather warnings were in place for those areas and Taranaki could receive 80 to 100mm of rain in the nine hours to 3pm.

People, especially trampers, were advised that rivers and streams could rise rapidly and slips were possible in vulnerable areas, MetService said.

The front was forecast to move across New Zealand throughout the day and be preceded by a strong to gale northerly wind.

Heavy rain was expected to hit Auckland, Northland, Hamilton and Tauranga by the afternoon.

The severe weather watch was also in place for Otago, Canterbury, Nelson, and Bay of Plenty.

Heavy rain could fall the Westland Ranges, the Canterbury Headwaters, the Nelson ranges through Monday and about the eastern Bay of Plenty Ranges from Monday evening until early Tuesday morning.

Nelson could also expect a dousing of rain this morning but that may clear around the afternoon.

Northerly gales were forecast for exposed parts of Fiordland, the Otago Lakes, Westland, Buller and the Canterbury High Country overnight tonight and into the morning.

Skifield operators will be salivating over the long range forecast.Heavy snow was expected to fall from Wednesday to Friday, down to 300 metres in Southland and Queenstown, 400m through the South Alps, Canterbury and Otago, and 700m on the Central Plateau around Mt Ruapehu.

This will be welcome news to those wanting to take to the snow, as a warmer than normal winter so far had made for small snow bases and delayed the opening of some skifields.


The Dominion Post