Southern drivers warned to take care in wind

Motorists are warned to take care on roads in the South due to strong winds today.

There is a  wind watch in place for coastal Southland, Clutha and the Otago Peninsula which should clear later.

The New Zealand Transport Agency advised this morning that people using State Highway 1 Dunedin to Gore, SH 87 Kyeburn to Outram and SH 8 & 90 Raes Junction to McNab and Raes Junction to Milton should drive to the conditions. 

Motorists in high-sided vehicles should take particular care.

The south-westerly that fuelled a wild weather week - damaging tornadoes, thousands of lightning strikes and monster 10m-high wave warning - was sticking around for another day.

And it has everywhere in its sights, although some places would feel its blustery trademark more than others, MetService meteorologist Ravi Kandula says.

“The whole country is covered with this very strong south-westerly flow, with gales in exposed places through the lower South Island and parts of Hawke’s Bay and Wairarapa. There’s also a gale southerly coming through Wellington.”

In Auckland, power outages were being reported late this morning as blustery winds batter the city.

MetService has issued a strong wind warning for Auckland, saying that south-westerly winds could approach severe gales in exposed places.

The south-westerlies also mean dreary, damp days for those in the firing line. Showers were expected across almost the entire country today, with only the top of the South Island and Bay of Plenty escaping the rain.

And while the wind would be less fierce in other areas, it would still be a blustery day for many, Kandula said.

SUNNY SUNDAY

Temperatures today would be about normal for the time of year: 16C in Auckland and Hamilton, 18C in Tauranga and 13C in Wellington.

In the South Island, Nelson would reach 17C and Christchurch and Dunedin 12C.

And then tomorrow, for many, sunshine.

“We’ll have fine weather for a large part of the country tomorrow morning. There’ll only be a few showers in the evening on the [South Island’s] West Coast, and winds will be easing across the board.”

Eastern areas of both islands, such as Hawke’s Bay, Marlborough, Canterbury and Dunedin, were looking the best places to be tomorrow, he said.

Christchurch and Dunedin would be cool - with a high of 13C - but sunny. The weather would be similar in Nelson and Blenheim, which could expect 14C. Napier will also be fine, with 15C.

Giant waves thrashing the country’s western coasts, and which have prompted warnings to anyone considering fishing off rocks in the west and boaties wanting to tackle dangerous river bars or harbours, are also expected to ease late tomorrow.

- NZME and ODT Online 

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