24 Sep 2010

More severe weather on way

5:20 pm on 24 September 2010

MetService says strong winds buffeting the eastern side of the South Island should ease on Friday evening, but more bad weather is forecast for Saturday.

The front that crossed over Southland is gradually tracking up the country and could bring severe gales to exposed places in Wellington and Wairarapa on Friday night.

MetService extreme weather forecaster Erick Brenstrum says the next weather front will bring wind and rain to the South Island on Saturday night.

Police are warning drivers of high-sided vehicles including truck drivers to be extra cautious on roads in North Otago and South Canterbury.

The wind is building in Wellington and Wairarapa, with gusts of up to 120km/h recorded on the Rimutaka Hill Road on Friday.

A period of heavy rain on the West Coast is also expected.

Parts of Southland and south Otago affected by snow should experience warmer temperatures next week, Mr Brenstrum says.

The Remarkables Ski Area near Queenstown has been forced to close on Friday after winds of up to 160km/h on the mountain made it too unsafe.