12 Jul 2008

Rain, gales in western areas

9:10 am on 12 July 2008

Heavy rain and strong winds hit western areas of the country on Friday night, while a Föhn wind pushed the temperature in Kaikoura to 21°C.

MetService says the area around Mt Taranaki received 100mm of rain in the 24 hours to 6am, and 60mm fell in Milford Sound.

Lower Hutt received 26mm of rain between 4am and 6am on Saturday.

In Kaikoura, Föhn winds brought an unusually high winter temperature of 21°C degrees at 1am on Saturday, with humidity as low as 10% to 15%.

MetService says wind gusts along the east coasts of the North and South Islands reached 120kmh.

Transit New Zealand is urging motorists to take care on State Highway 1 at Ngauranga Gorge near Wellington, because of flooding.

It is warning drivers to take extreme care on Arthurs Pass and Lewis Pass in the South Island, and to exercise caution on the North Island's Desert Road.