8 Sep 2012

Wild weekend forecast for much of the country

10:09 am on 8 September 2012

MetService is predicting wild weather in many parts of the country this weekend, with severe gales expected to continue into Monday.

It warns strong gusts could spread up the country into the central North Island.

In Wairarapa, gale force winds are expected by mid-morning on Saturday, with the potential for winds to reach 140km/h on ridge tops.

MetService spokesperson Daniel Corbett says it is possible there will be many wind storms in several places at the same time - which is unusual - and parts of the country could be hit harder than others,

Mr Corbett said areas to watch out for are across parts of Canterbury, Wellington and Wairarapa, and on exposed coasts and ridgetops.

There will be colder temperatures in the South Island and snow is forecast on the main alpine passes and to 400m in Fiordland from Saturday night. This could spill over into the Canterbury high country and Southern Lakes on Sunday.

Heavy rainfall is predicted for the north and west of the South Island, as well as the central North Island high country and the Tararua Range.

Power warning

Lines company Powerco says the strong winds forecast are likely to cause power cuts and warning people to stay away from lines brought down as they could still be live.

Powerco has electricity networks in Taranaki, Wanganui, Rangitikei, Manawatu and Wairarapa.

The company says anyone who comes across fallen lines should stay well way from them and call it.

Meanwhile, power has been restored to 350 customers after strong winds buffeted Wellington on Friday morning.

Lines company Wellington Electricity says electricity was cut in the suburb of Paparangi when power lines came down in Bracken Road.

MetService says gusts reached 130km/h in some parts of the region.