Ferries on Wellington Harbour have been cancelled this morning as stormy conditions continue to lash the region.

Metlink Wellington has cancelled services to Seatoun and is cutting back on sailings between downtown Queens Wharf and Days Bay.

Adverse weather conditions are being blamed for the reduced timetable.

Motorists travelling across Auckland's Harbour Bridge were also being warned to take extra care because of strong wind gusts this morning.


The New Zealand Transport Agency advised motorists to travel to the conditions when crossing from the North Shore to the city.

About 30,000 lightning strikes have hit land sea around the country in the last 24 hours thanks to the severe weather hitting New Zealand's west coast.

Wild winds brought down power lines and lifted roofs off houses in Christchurch as emergency services battled to combat the fierce conditions.

The Fire Service attended half a dozen call-outs in the garden city due to the gales. A strong wind warning remains in places over Christchurch and Banks Peninsula, but at the moment is calm.

One lane of State Highway 6 to Makarora remains closed due to storm damage. A minor slip has also closed a section of State Highway 8 on the Lindis Pass, and motorists are advised to take extra case in the area.

Meanwhile, some flights out of Wellington Airport were cancelled last night. Services are running as normal today.

MetService meteorologist Tom Adams said today should be relatively mild.

"A southerly went through last night which changed the air mass over New Zealand so there will be cooler temperatures," he said.

"There's still residual showers in Auckland, a few showers around in New Plymouth and Taranaki and a bit of rain developing on the west coast but most places, particularly the main centres, should see a decent amount of sunshine today."

Another trough is expected to come through on Wednesday, which might bring heavy rain in the west and gales in the east, he said.

"Then it will be calmer again on Thursday before another trough comes through on Friday which looks it will spread rain further across the east.

"It will definitely feel quite a bit cooler by the time Friday's trough comes through."

WeatherWatch is similarly expecting a brief period of settled weather.

"[Tuesday] morning it may well be calm and mild and then it ramps up again on Wednesday and calms down again on Thursday and ramps up again on Friday," WeatherWatch forecaster Philip Duncan said.

"Some places might be windy all week but it is this storm on Friday we are watching closely."

The thunder and the wind was tied into about three or four lows that would affect New Zealand over the next 10 days, he said.

"It is quite a big change from the warm sub-tropical lazy summer weather we have been seeing lately, this is kind of the stormier side to autumn."

MetService has also added a severe thunderstorm watch for the central west of the North Island and northwest of the South Island.

Weather forecast


Today: Fine breaks with some possible showers. Southwesterlies easing. High 20C. Wednesday: Showers, some possibly heavy/thundery for a time. Westerlies. HiGh 21C.

Auckland: Today: Few showers. Strong southwesterlies easing. High 19C. Wednesday: Showers, some possibly heavy/thundery for a time. Westerlies. High 19C.

Hamilton: Today: Few early showers then mostly sunny. Southwest easing. High 18C. Wednesday: Rain, some possibly heavy/thundery. Westerly. High 18C.

Tauranga: Today: Few early showers then mostly sunny. Southwest easing. High 19C. Wednesday: Rain develops, some possibly heavy/thundery. Strong westerly. High 19C.

Hamilton: Today: Few early showers then mostly sunny. High 18C. Wednesday: Rain, some possibly heavy, easing in the afternoon. HIgh 18C.

Wellington: Today: Showers clearing in the morning as gale southerly eases. High 14C. Wednesday: Rain, some possibly heavy, easing in the afternoon. Northwest gales. High 17C.

Christchurch: Today: Fine. Southwest dying out, northeast developing. High 12C. Wednesday: Brief rain then fine. Northerly turning southwest. High 18C.

Dunedin: Today: Some morning cloud the fine. Southwest dies, northeast develops. High 12C. Wednesday: Showers clearing later. Northerly turning southwest. High 15C.

Our hot autumn brings some interesting quirks

The pests

Noticed more flies and fleas this summer? Wild Weta Pest Control owner Craig Beere says we've had a higher density of flies because of the longer stretch of warmer weather.

"The higher humidity seems to have an effect on the fly population. There has been probably an increase in fleas [as well] due to the warmer temperatures, the longer summer and the humid weather. Rats and rodents are also affected."

He said rats could head inside when it was hotter, in search of water. But he said cockroaches did not seem to be affected.

The trees

The owner of Tree Guys Nurseries in Hawkes Bay, Kathy Ritchie, said growers might have found themselves spraying plants more at this time of the year because of the warmer weather and the lack of frosts.

"Plants are still well in growth whereas normally they would be dormant by now, and the ground is still warm so we are not getting the frosts that kill the ground bugs, which can be a little bit if a problem.

"We have put off a lot of our landscapes because it is just so dry, too dry to plant. Normally we are starting about mid-May, this year we are sort of looking at mid-June if we don't get any substantial rain."

Holiday parks

Holiday parks and camping grounds seem to have benefited from the extended warm season.

Anna Wilson, manager at Bay of Islands Holiday Park, said it had been the busiest season the park had had in four years and the warmer weather was a contributing factor.

She said guest numbers would usually wind down about Easter but this year they'd kept coming until the end of April. "Even now the trickle is a bit more than normal."

Skiing grounds

Anna Whitehead, manager at the National Park Backpackers, says the ski season is set to start in six weeks.

"Hopefully until then we get some snow in. At the moment there is nothing left from the summer, it was so warm it all melted off.

"They need probably a metre up there to open up but they have got a snow machine so if the temperatures are cold they can actually make snow."

She wasn't concerned about the lack of snow yet, however. "The temperature is just coming down a little bit tonight and tomorrow."