5 Oct 2014

Severe weather forecast but short-lived

8:22 pm on 5 October 2014

Severe weather is on the way for most of New Zealand, with heavy rain in the west, and gale force winds in the east.

The MetService says warm air coming in from the Tasman Sea is clashing with cold fronts off the Antarctic, causing heavy rain and strong gusts around the country.

MetService forecaster Mads Naeraa said Fiordland and the West Coast can expect heavy rains and eastern parts will be hit by strong winds.

"We're seeing unusually strong north-west gales move up through the country and particularly Wairarapa and Central Hawke's Bay look like it's going to get very windy - but 120 to 150 km per hour gusts in many eastern places."

Mr Naeraa said such severe weather moves on quickly, and the front should be gone by the end of tomorrow.

A southerly change brought hail to parts of Wellington, including Lower Hutt and the Ngauranga Gorge, while further north, snow fell on the Rimutaka Hill yesterday.

Farmers prepare for bad weather

Farmers in Canterbury are preparing for gale-force winds as the front moves up the country.

Last year severe winds in Canterbury damaged hundreds of pivot irrigators and power lines, leaving dairy farmers without power for their milking sheds.

Federated Farmers mid-Canterbury president Chris Allen said farmers have been expecting the front.

Mr Allen said many dairy farmers now have back-up generators for their sheds.

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