Weekend weather: Fog, rain, gale-force winds and snow

Early morning fog, Sky Tower and Auckland CBD skyline, on Thursday morning. 08 August 2013 New Zealand Herald photograph by Brett Phibbs
Early morning fog, Sky Tower and Auckland CBD skyline, on Thursday morning. 08 August 2013 New Zealand Herald photograph by Brett Phibbs

A foggy night and morning has caused numerous flight delays and cancellations at airports around the country.

Wellington, Christchurch and Auckland airports are all showing numerous flights delayed, with a handful cancelled today.

On social media photos of passengers at Auckland airport showed long queues and some disgruntled faces as news of the delays and cancellations were made on Friday night.

This morning, while the fog had cleared, all airports were still taking time to clear the resulting back-log in its flights schedule.

Despite the fog having dissipated the weather was expected to remain grim for at least the next couple of days.

A severe weather warning has been issued with heavy rain expected in the west of the South Island and severe gale-force winds around much of the North Island, Fiordland and the Chatham Islands.

MetService predicted the heaviest rain would hit the South Island with rainfall levels of up to 280mm forecast.

Further north the winds were expected to reach speeds of 140km/hr around Fiordland, Wellington, Wairarapa and the Marlborough Sounds.

"Winds of this strength have the potential to be damaging, particularly to trees, powerlines and unsecured structures and also make for hazardous driving conditions, especially for tall sided vehicles and motorcycles," the forecaster predicted.

Police have urged those driving around the affected areas to take care on the roads.

"Such high winds can make driving hazardous, with motorcyclists and drivers of high sided vehicles urged to take extra care.

"People need to be aware that these winds will also affect items around their properties such as garden furniture and trampolines."

On Sunday heavy swells and large waves were also expected to affect western coasts and may cause coastal erosion in vulnerable areas and make driving conditions hazardous around low-lying coastal roads.

Snow is also expected to fall as low as 500 metres above sea level in the South Island, the most snow was forecast for the Milford Road, with some 25 to 35cm of snow expected to accumulate near the summit between 6am on Saturday and midnight Sunday.

- NZ Herald

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