Warning as strong winds predicted for South

Batten down the hatches again - MetService is warning Southern residents to prepare for severe gales reaching 130kmh in exposed places tomorrow.

A cold front is forecast to move on to the South Island from the Tasman Sea in the morning, preceded by a strong north-to-northwest flow, and followed by strong westerlies.

A MetService spokesman said strong wind watches and warnings were now in force for eastern and southern parts of the South Island.

An Orange Warning has been issued for Wanaka, Queenstown, Fiordland, Southland (west of Lumsden) and Stewart Island, between 8am Wednesday and 8am Thursday, where severe gale north-to-northwesterlies were expected to reach 130kmh in exposed places, he said.

‘‘Strong wind gusts could damage trees, powerlines and unsecured structures. Driving may be hazardous, especially for high-sided vehicles and motorcycles.’’

In North Otago, Central Otago, Dunedin, Clutha and the remainder of Southland, he said gale north-to-northwesterly winds were expected to develop tomorrow morning, then should change to gale westerlies tomorrow evening.

The strongest westerly winds were expected mainly about coastal places. During this time, winds may approach severe gale, gusting to 110kmh in exposed places.

He said it was possible the severe gales could continue across Otago and Southland tomorrow, so people should stay up to date with the latest forecasts in case any changes were made, or further watches or warnings were added.

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