Air NZ cancels Wellington flights as severe weather hits

Air New Zealand has cancelled it's Tuesday morning flights. Photo: NZ Herald/File
Air New Zealand has cancelled it's Tuesday morning flights. Photo: NZ Herald/File

Air New Zealand is continuing to cancel flights to and from Wellington this morning.

The airline has now cancelled at least 35 services in and out of the capital up until midday today.

Some domestic services are still running, and Air New Zealand is asking passengers to check flight times online. Early morning Jetstar services to Wellington are arriving as scheduled.

Metservice meteorologist Talia Crabtree said the gusts had been reaching 83 km/h in the last hour at Wellington Airport, which is what people around the city would be feeling.

"The wind gusts could damage trees, structures that aren't tied down like trampolines and anything that's unsecured."

Crabtree said the winds were expected to ease a little bit this afternoon with a front moving in. The weather warning's in place until 6pm.

Air New Zealand flights from Christchurch, Blenheim, Auckland, Tauranga, Timaru, Rotorua and Nelson between 6.30am and 8.20am have been cancelled so far, according to Air New Zealand's website says.

Air New Zealand says it is offering fare flexibility "the next 72 hours, where customers with cancelled flights will have the option to transfer their booking to another date or hold the fare value in credit for up to 12 months toward future travel".

The airline has put on additional services for later this evening to accommodate disrupted customers and will continue to explore additional capacity as the day continues.

Customers with Wellington flights are strongly recommended to consider deferring non-urgent travel, and those who do need to travel should keep an eye on the airline's Arrivals and Departures page for the latest information.

The skies have opened above the West Coast of the South Island and a heavy rain warning has been issued for the area.

MetService meteorologist Lewis Ferris said the rain will be the "most impactful" on Tuesday, and will lash the area all week.

"We're likely to see over 500mm of rain in the West Coast of the South Island," he said.

Strong northwesterly winds are expected to accompany the heavy rain and blow around the centre of the country and eastern areas of the South Island, he said.

Thunderstorms are likely to hit today and slips, while flooding and road closures are possible.

Aucklanders will likely see a less dramatic smattering of rain on Tuesday, with a burst of rain and a chance of thunder forecasted in the City of Sails in the afternoon.

But the temperatures are expected to stay warm in the city, with expected highs upwards of 24C and warm overnight temperatures this week.

It's a similar story in the Bay of Plenty, with the chance of a few showers on Tuesday, northwesterly winds and balmy temperatures.

Napier is in for a scorching few days, reaching a high of 29C on Tuesday and soaring up to 31 on Thursday.

And it won't cool down overnight, with expected temperatures on Monday evening to shoot 8C higher than the normal recorded overnight temperature during December.

Wellington's in for a windy week, where a severe weather warning for gales has been issued.

Ferris said gales could gust up to 140km/h in exposed places, but the temperatures are expected to remain warm.

Christchurch won't be affected largely by the West Coast rain, and will see cloudy and warm weather with northwesterly winds and temperatures spiking above 25C.

Dunedin will be a few degrees cooler than Christchurch in the next few days, and will see a bit of rain, Ferris said.

Rain will also hit Invercargill this week, but temperatures are expected to hit the 20C mark or a few notches below.

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