Gale-force winds and gusts of 130km/h are already battering
the northern North Island this morning, as forecasters warn
the region to batten down the hatches.
Severe gales with the potential to bring down trees and
powerlines are forecast to hit Northland, Auckland,
Coromandel and the western bay of Plenty today.
Aucklanders awoke to blustery conditions this morning, with
Northland already suffering damaging gusts over night.
Winds in Cape Reinga were hitting 100km/h this morning, with
gusts already reaching 130km/h - the maximum predicted by Met
Service last night - after picking up around 8pm last night.
Cape Karikari has seen winds up to 83km/h with gusts of
122km/h this morning, after gales picked up around midnight,
MetService said. Kaitaia had also seen gale gusts of around
The forecaster may have to revise its severe weather warning
if wind speeds kept up, MetService meteorologist Liz Walsh
"[Cape Reinga] is hitting the warning .... so maybe if it
goes any higher we'll be revising that figure," she said.
"Cape Reinga has been going at it since last night, but it's
slowly spreading downwards now through Northland, and we
would expect those speeds to lift as we go through the day."
WeatherWatch has forecast winds of up to 120km/h in exposed
parts of the Far North, with gusts over that possible as far
south as Auckland.
"On top of the recent heavy rains in northern New Zealand the
soil is saturated and strong to gale force winds may topple
trees easier," said head weather analyst Philip Duncan.
"This may also lead to further isolated power cuts and hot
By 8am winds were gusting over 50km/h in Auckland, while
gales in marine areas were already forming, he said.
Eastern Waikato and Coromandel Peninsula may also experience
damaging gusts late on Tuesday and over Wednesday with the
potential for some powercuts.
Heavy rain is also expected in the north by this afternoon,
with between 120-160mm of rainfall predicted in the ranges of
"It's warm tropical air full of moisture and it's just going
to dump quite a bit of rain," said Ms Walsh. "And because the
situation is quite blocked -- there's a high pressure to the
southeast of us -- it's kind of holding the low pressure
that's just north of Cape Reinga in place.
"So what's happening is the front is just becoming stationary
and dumping a lot of rain in one place, and it's slow
- Patrice Dougan of APNZ