Winemakers, wedding celebrants and outdoor enthusiasts are
rushing to rearrange plans for the weekend, with the remnants
of Tropical Cyclone Lusi expected to bear down on the upper
Weather forecasters said the worst of the weather, destined
for Northland, Auckland and Coromandel, will arrive overnight
The destructive weather pattern has prompted Civil Defence to
warn people to remain indoors and prepare for the rough
Waiheke wedding celebrant Irene Armstrong had three outdoor
weddings planned on the island this weekend. All three are
being moved indoors, with one couple, hoping for a beach
wedding, shifting venues to a private house.
"With the vineyards, they always have a back-up location. We
always make it work," Ms Armstrong said.
"Everyone always has a back-up plan. We have to because the
weather's so unpredictable, even in summer."
Bursts of heavy rain, and severe wind reaching up to 120km/h
in parts of Northland and Coromandel, are forecast for
Saturday night and Sunday morning, WeatherWatch analyst
Philip Duncan said.
Heavy rain would also sweep across Auckland, but it was not
expected to cause flooding.
Anyone hoping for activities at the beach should make other
plans, Mr Duncan said.
"The weather poses a risk to life and property," he said.
Civil Defence officials yesterday reminded people to have an
emergency survival kit and household emergency plan prepared.
The Coastguard also advised boaties to seek a temporary berth
for vessels in a marina this weekend.
Andrew Sains, who is due to run the 42km Te Houtaewa
Challenge on Ninety Mile Beach, said his plans were likely to
be disrupted by the stormy weather.
The Panasonic People's Triathlon Series at Maraetai Beach,
which was supposed to take place on Sunday, has been
postponed to March 30.
Mr Duncan said people who lived along the western slopes of
the Kaimai Range in Waikato should get ready to be slammed.
"I think winds in that area, certainly on the mountains of
the Kaimais, we'll be seeing 150km/h plus. The last cyclone
that hit with a similar kind of strength was Fergus, back in
1996, and that blew brick walls down."
MetService meteorologist Dan Corbett said a severe
weatherwatch was already in place for Northland, Auckland and
Coromandel for tomorrow night and Saturday.
While the weather was expected to track further south,
hitting the South Island's east coast on Sunday, it was
expected to be less severe, he said.