Strong winds about coast expected to continue

The MetService is warning those in coastal areas of Otago and Southland to keep their hatches battened down.

The strong winds the regions have experienced over the past three days are expected to continue until Thursday morning, reaching speeds of more than 100kmh tomorrow.

MetService meteorologist Lewis Ferris said the winds gusted to 85kmh at Dunedin Airport on Saturday, 131kmh on Swampy Summit on Saturday and 115kmh yesterday.

Mr Ferris said it was likely the southwest winds would rise to severe gales again in exposed places, from Stewart Island to Dunedin, throughout today and tomorrow morning.

"Last Friday, we had a series of cold fronts move up the country and that really turned our winds around to the southwest, which is a good direction to get gusty, very noticeable winds around Otago - especially about that Dunedin coast.

"Since then, we’ve just had a continuation of those strong SW winds with quite tightly spaced isobars.

"We’ve had more high pressure up in the Tasman Sea and really low pressure south of New Zealand, and between those places, there’s a tight pressure squeeze giving a bit of oomph to the wind.

"Keep the hatches battened down for now - there’s still a couple more days of these gusty SW winds, but you’ll see it ease towards the weekend."

Mr Ferris said the strong, cold southwest flow over much of the country was expected to ease late Wednesday and early Thursday, as a ridge of high pressure moved in from the Tasman Sea.

The ridge was expected to persist over New Zealand through to Saturday.


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