Weather forecast: High winds expected to ease

By Tess Nichol, Bernard Orsman

Flooding just north of Katikati closed one lane of the road yesterday in Bay of Plenty. Photo / John Borren
Flooding just north of Katikati closed one lane of the road yesterday in Bay of Plenty. Photo / John Borren

After wild winds wreaked havoc last night and heavy rain flooded North Island roads yesterday, weather conditions are expected to ease today.

Wind gusts of more than 100km/h were recorded last night at Mt Kaukau in Wellington and on Mangatepopo Rd in Tongariro.

Surface flooding hit parts of the North Island yesterday, causing crashes and incidents on roads.

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In New Plymouth the winds gifted one family with a brand new trampoline.

Fire service spokesman Jaron Phillips said he had heard reports of trees and powerlines down in several parts of the North Island, including Oakura, Waverly, New Plymouth and Dannevirke, where a tree branch had been blocking State Highway 2.

Two trampolines had taken off in high winds, one in Oakura and the other in Spotswood, New Plymouth.

Philips said fire had received a call from a family in Spotswood saying a trampoline was on their property - but it was not theirs.

Fire services thought it may have blown over their neighbour's fence.

Police earlier closed off State Highway 2, north of Katikati, due to flooding; while Southern Police urged motorists to drive carefully after icy roads led to a number of incidents of vehicles sliding.

Expect high winds to ease today. Photo / via MetService
Expect high winds to ease today. Photo / via MetService

There was a dramatic rescue after a truck plunged at least 50m into the Manawatu Gorge yesterday morning. One person was winched from the truck cab while the second was helped from near the truck, the Philips Search and Rescue Trust said. The truck's occupants, a man and woman aged in their 40s, were taken to Palmerston North Hospital. Three of their rescuers were also taken to hospital, but were not admitted.

Hawke's Bay copped a lot of rain in the past 24 hours, MetService meteorologist Matthew Ford said this morning.

The small inland settlement of Te Pohue recorded 83mm, Wharerata on the east coast north of Mahia Peninnsula 78.8mm, Hastings 35mm and Napier 30.8mm.

Ford said rain was easing across the North Island, but there would still be a few showers in Northland, the East Coast, Hawkes Bay and Wellington.

Conditions are forecast to be better by midday today and will be sunny for most areas tomorrow and Monday. Much of the country will bask in sunshine.

"For the bulk of the North Island things have fined up or will fine up during the day," Ford said.

Temperatures range in the mid-teens in the North Island, while parts of the South Island will see high single-digit temperatures.

MetService forecaster Allister Gorman said the outlook for Monday was looking a quite good day for a winter school holiday.

Conditions may become icy early today.

Exposed places about northern Westland, Buller, the Marlborough Sounds could still get severe southeast gales.

Today's forecast

Whangarei: 16C high, cloudy periods and a few showers. Strong southeasterly winds.

Auckland: 15C, fine spells, strong southeasterlies.

Tauranga: 15C, mostly sunny.

Hamilton: 14C, sunny, gusty southeasterlies.

Gisborne: 13C, rain easing to showers in morning. Strong southeasterlies easing.

Coromandel: 14C, showers clearing before dawn then fine spells. Strong southeasterlies.

Wellington: 11C, becoming fine. Strong southerlies easing.

Christchurch: 10C, becomes fine in morning, light winds.

Dunedin: 9C, sunny, high cloud. Morning frosts.

- NZ Herald

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