Matthew Backhouse

Matthew Backhouse is an APNZ news reporter based in Wellington.

Wild weather to push up the country but weaken overnight

Strong winds are battering Wellington.
Strong winds are battering Wellington.

A boisterous front that hammered Wellington with damaging gales today will push up the country but should weaken overnight.

The front brought heavy rain and gales to central New Zealand today, including gusts of up to 140km/h in the capital.

The blustery conditions disrupted flights, toppled power poles, damaged scaffolding, and left trees and debris scattered across roads north of Wellington, delaying traffic between Otaki and Levin.

Firefighters said one downed pole crashed through the conservatory of a Lower Hutt home. The wind also threatened a verandah in Wellington that was at risk of "blowing away".

Nobody was injured in the incidents.

The MetService said the spring-like front would ease tonight and clear the country overnight, but Waikato and Bay of Plenty could still get some rain from its remnants.

Meteorologist Rochelle Fleming said the front, a westerly flow from the south Tasman Sea, was not unusual for this time of year.

"It's just one in the series that we've had over the last couple of days, and the next few days unfortunately," she said.

"For the first part of tomorrow, you see the remains of that front lying over the Waikato and Bay of Plenty area with some rain, but not large amounts.

"That front weakens, but then we get another burst of rain coming down onto Wellington and Nelson, but that's not until later into the evening. It's a bit unsettled, really.'

Meteorologist Daniel Corbett said the "boisterous" front had made for some dramatic contrasts in the weather today - from over 300mm of rain in the Westland ranges, to sunshine and 28C with warm northwest winds in Gisborne.

He said tomorrow would be a quieter day weather-wise in many places, but another spell of wet weather would move in from the west during the evening.

The wet weather would clear away to the east by the end of Sunday, bringing a fine and settled day for much of the country on Monday.

Next week would see a continuation of the unsettled pattern of wet weather.

***

WEEKEND WEATHER:

Auckland: Morning showers followed by fine spells tomorrow, with northwesterlies and a high of 27C. By Sunday there should be a period of showers, some heavy, a southwest change and a high of 26C.

Hamilton: The weekend starts with morning showers, then fine spells, northwesterlies and a high of 26C. Sunday will begin with heavy rain, clearing later, a southwest change and a high of 25C.

Wellington: Tomorrow will begin with cloudy periods followed by evening rain, strengthening northerlies and a high of 20C. The rain will clear by Sunday, becoming fine, with gale northerlies at times and a high of 22C.

Christchurch: A fine start to the weekend with high cloud, northeasterlies and a high of 22C. Sunday will be mainly fine with northeasterlies and a high of 24C.

Dunedin: Saturday will be fine with high cloud and northeasterlies developing midday. Sunday will bring high cloud, brief rain and developing westerlies. A high of 20C both days.

- APNZ

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