26 Sep 2020

Weather watch: spring making way for wintry blast

7:32 pm on 26 September 2020

MetService has issued a raft of warnings as a significant weather event closes in on the country.

Urban view of rain drops falls on a window during a stormy day overlooking Auckland CBD New Zealand skyline in the background.

The bad weather is expected to hit Auckland tomorrow. (file pic) Photo: 123RF

It's forecasting heavy rain for the Canterbury headwaters and Westland this evening, and Mount Taranaki and the Tararua Range overnight, which it said could cause surface flooding, slips and rapidly rising rivers.

Severe gales are expected in Buller, Westland, Wellington and Marlborough from tonight and South Taranaki, Gisborne and Hawke's Bay from early tomorrow morning, which it says could make driving hazardous.

Snow is expected on the South Island's alpine passes tomorrow, and it could affect the Desert Road in the North Island on Monday and Tuesday.

Large swells may affect the west coast of both islands, and the south and east coasts of central and southern New Zealand, tomorrow through until Tuesday.

Close watch needed for harbour bridge

The weather front is expected to reach Auckland tomorrow, and Waka Kotahi, the Transport Agency is monitoring conditions that could close the already-crippled Auckland Harbour Bridge.

Two lanes are closed due to damage caused by a toppled truck a week ago, with a temporary fix in place.

Head of journeys Neil Walker said although the bridge is safe, it remains in a vulnerable state until a permanent repair is carried out.

That means it may have to be closed at very short notice.

Repair work carried out on the Auckland Harbour Bridge overnight on Tuesday/Wednesday.

A temporary fix has been made to the Auckland Harbour Bridge but it is vulnerable to adverse weather. Photo: Supplied / Waka Kotahi NZTA

"General advice is, if you're driving a high-sided vehicle or if you're riding a motorcycle, the best option is to take the Western Ring Route," he said.

Auckland Civil Defence Emergency Management encouraged residents to tie any loose items down, and contact Vector Energy or Counties Power to report any power outages.

'Triple threat' for Otago

People in Otago are being urged to check their emergency supplies, while the region's Civil Defence emergency management team keeps a close eye on the situation.

The region will be among the first to be affected.

While MetService's severe weather warnings don't include Otago, it has issued weather watches for the region, and public information manager Michele Poole said it includes a "triple-threat" of gale winds, heavy snow and rain.

"It's going to be a particular issue for farmers who are lambing at the moment, and for anyone who's travelling," she said.

"We always advise people to be very mindful if they're travelling in these sort of conditions - check the forecast, check the roads before they leave. Be prepared for power outages, make sure they've got torches if they're heading into night-time, and alternative means of cooking and keeping warm."

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs