Strong winds, thunderstorms and snow are expected in parts of the country as a series of cold fronts will make for a wild spring weekend.
MetService meteorologist April Clark said MetSerivce had issued a “myriad” of watches and alerts as the complex, active low-pressure system is expected to move east across New Zealand over the weekend.
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He said a cold western to southwestern flow would then follow on Monday, temperatures dropping drastically and potentially bringing in snow, which could become heavy in some areas of the south, as it flows over the country.
Police received a number of calls regarding the weather last night in the Wellington area.
* The risk of heavy snowfall during early spring storms hits the country with gusts of up to 150 km / hr
* Heavy snow, strong southern winds are expected when winter arrives
* Heavy rain and strong wind warning as the cold front moves north
A spokesman said police had been informed of fallen trees and trees slipped and trees had fallen on SH1 near Paekākāriki, but vehicles were still able to pass.
Another slip occurred at Glenmore St in Kelburn, which caused a power line to cut and blocked part of the road on Sunday morning.
A tree blocks Sar St and Hutt Rd near Wadestown. Contractors vacated them Sunday morning, a spokesman for the Wellington City Council said.
Several trees also fell on The Drive in Tawa, with about 100 households without electricity in Tawa. Wellington Electricity expects electricity to be restored by 12.45pm on Sunday.
And 122 households in Paremata and Camborne experienced power outages, expected to recover by 11:20 a.m.
Bad weather damaged the power lines on Mana View Rd and affected the roof at Camborne. People are advised to avoid Mana View Rd.
Hutt City Council also warned of minor slips, surface flooding and fallen trees on Wainuiomata Hill. Te Awa Kairangi (Hutt River) has also climbed and Block Rd has closed.
A car was found partially submerged in the Waipoua river in Masterton this morning, but the Police couldn’t get the car out until the river had receded. Police were not sure if there were any passengers in the car, but a Westpac helicopter had been stopped in the middle of the morning.
Wild weather is also expected to affect further north vigilance is being put on the Auckland Harbor Bridge in preparation for storm conditions.
New Zealand’s Waka Kotahi Transport Agency (NZTA) is preparing to close several lanes on the Auckland Harbor Bridge on Sunday morning ahead of forecast wind shifts that could see gusts of up to 90 km / hr.
Currently, winds are blowing northward at speeds of up to 70 km / h in Auckland but the bridge is relatively sheltered.
Auckland Transport’s North Coast bus service, which normally uses double-decker buses, has been diverted to standard buses for the weekend in cases of strong winds.
NZTA transport services general manager Brett Gliddon previously said Goods, motorcyclists and those driving vehicles with high sides should avoid the bridges.
Further south, those living on the east coast of the South Island wake up in relatively good spring water conditions.
Christchurch had a temperature of 15.4 degrees Celsius at 7am and is expected to hit a high of 20C. Ashburton expects high temperatures of 20C, Timaru 21C, Dunedin 15C, Wānaka 14C and Queenstown 12C.
Clark said strong winds were expected across New Zealand, especially in open areas.
On Banks Peninsula, wind speeds of up to 105kmh were recorded as of Sunday morning, he said.
On the West Coast of the South Island, large parts of the area experience high rainfall, strong winds and thunderstorms.
With the potential for more debris on the road coupled with strong winds, extra care needs to be taken when traveling, says Clark.
Heavy rain alerts have been issued for the eastern Bay of Plenty until 4pm Sunday. Rain is estimated to be 90 millimeters.
Taumarunui and Tongariro National Parks expect 90mm to 12pm. The Tararua Mountain Range also predicts similar rainfall until 10 a.m. with possible thunderstorms.
In the south, around Westland and south of Otira are thought to receive up to about 150mm in range and 90mm near the coast with thunderstorms.
The upper reaches of Canterbury and south of Arthur’s Pass are expected to receive up to 130mm near the pass with a possible thunderstorm and 90mm within 15 km in the east by 11am.
A strong wind warning was in place for Marlborough with strong winds estimated northwest of 120kmh to 1pm Sunday.
Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay and north Hastings are expected to receive wind gusts north to northwest 120kmh to 2pm on Sunday.
Nelson is expect wind gusts of 120kmh to 5am on Monday.
In Wellington and Wairarapa, excluding Tararua District, the northwest gales are expected to be especially severe at times with gusts reaching 130kmh to 3pm Sunday.
Westland’s strong winds and gales from north to northwest are expected to reach 120kmh to 10:00 am on Sunday.
Canterbury High Country expects gusts of up to 130kmh by 11pm Sunday.
Heavy snow watches have also been issued for parts of the south.
Nelson to the west of Motueka, Buller and Westland to the north of Arthur’s Pass from 6pm Monday to 10am Tuesday it is expected to snow around 400 meters, with significant heavy snowfall above 500 meters.
Fiordland from 6pm Sunday to 2pm Tuesday, snow is expected to fall up to 300 meters on Sunday evening, and then close to sea level during Monday morning, continuing through Tuesday. Snow accumulation can reach the warning criteria above 300 meters.
Clutha, Central Otago south of Alexandra, and Southland, including Stewart Island, from 1 a.m. Monday to 10 p.m. Tuesday, snow is expected to fall as low as 300 meters on Sunday night, then approach sea level during Monday morning and continue through Tuesday. Snow accumulation can also reach warning criteria above 300 meters.
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