Light at the end of the tunnel - eventually

Published: Thu 13 Jul 2017 11:28 AM
MetService News Release
13 July 2017
Light at the end of the tunnel - eventually
Severe southerly gales, damaging swells, heavy rain and significant snow continue across the lower North Island today, with many MetService Severe Weather Warnings still in place.
“Damaging southerly winds continue until tonight for Wellington, Kapiti, the Marlborough Sounds, Taranaki, Whanganui and the Wairarapa, before gradually easing tomorrow (Friday) morning,” said MetService Meteorologist Tom Adams. “Wellington has already seen gusts of 160 km/hr at Mount Kaukau earlier today, and Cook Strait recorded mean wind speeds of 130 km/hr (70 knots) and 11 metre waves this morning,” he added.
Heavy snow warnings remain in force for the Central North Island high country, including higher parts of Hawke’s Bay and Manawatu, until this evening, with another period of snow likely on Friday.
“Heavy snow is expected above 600 metres until this evening, with lesser amounts down to 400 metres and even falling as low as 200 metres in parts of Central Hawke’s Bay and the Tararua District,” said Adams. “We’ve already seen snow fall in Dannevirke and as far north as Mamaku this morning, but as the freezing level rises today rain will quickly wash these lower falls away.”
Warning amounts of rainfall are also forecast to continue in the Wairarapa, Tararua Ranges, Wellington, Kapiti and the ranges of Manawatu through until early Friday morning, with much of the precipitation falling as snow at higher levels.
The upper North Island doesn’t escape the wintry blast unscathed. Northland and Auckland are set to experience gale-force, cold southerlies and spells of heavy showers, some with hail, through until Friday morning.
But there is light at the end of the tunnel. Most of the North Island sees a clearance in the weather on Friday, and an easing of the southerly winds. Only the eastern coastline, from Wairarapa to Gisborne, hangs onto the showers through until Saturday morning.
The remainder of the weekend looks settled across the North Island - with clear, cool weather and light winds in the forecast. This will be welcome news for those attending the Hurricanes vs Crusaders Super Rugby match in the Capital on Saturday night, or those skiers and boarders wanting to enjoy the fresh snow. However, drivers will need to continue exercising caution on the roads, with the risk of frosts and black ice on the roads extending through the weekend.
There is also good news for the South Island. While a warning is still in place for further snowfall inland in mid to north Canterbury and the Kaikoura District until tonight, the worst of the snowfall has already passed. The lower South Island clears to fine during today, while the showers ease off in the east of the South Island on Friday.
On Saturday, the South Island looks likely to see settled weather and light winds – the recipe for severe frosts and black ice on roads in the coming days. However, on Sunday, expect a return to more typical, mobile weather systems over the South Island. Rain returns to the West Coast on Sunday, ending the recent run of stunning weather there, with a brief, showery southwest change expected to move across the South Island during Monday.

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