Winds over 100km an hour, thunderstorms forecast for Auckland, snow for the south

An orange strong wind warning is in place for Auckland tomorrow with gusts forecast to reach 120km/h in some parts, made worse with thunderstorms.

MetService said severe gale southwesterlies gusting 120km/h in exposed places may start around 3pm on Wednesday and last around 11 hours.

The gusts “could damage trees, powerlines and unsecured structures. Driving may be hazardous, especially for high-sided vehicles and motorcycles”, it said.

It has also placed the region on a severe thunderstorm watch, saying while squally showers were expected there was also a moderate risk of severe thunderstorms.

“[The thunderstorms] will act to amplify any of those stronger winds as well, some very squally winds as those thunderstorms run past,” MetService meteorologist John Law said.

“We will find it’s a windy story especially for that second half of the day on Wednesday and through into towards the early hours of Thursday.”

A strong wind watch was also now in place for Northland from Dargaville and Whangārei southwards.

Meanwhile, power cuts and damage are possible for the upper and western North Island from this evening, NIWA has warned.

Earlier in the day, MetService issued strong weather warnings saying Auckland, Coromandel Peninsula, Taranaki, and coastal Waikato will be worst affected.

Heavy winds, rain and possible thunderstorms are forecast for several parts of the country into Wednesday.

And a NIWA spokesperson also said winds of more than 100km/h were expected.

“The strongest gusts are likely over coastal & elevated areas,” a post on X said.

“Localised power cuts and damage are possible.”

Drivers using the Auckland Harbour Bridge tomorrow have also been asked to take extra care.

NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi said it was likely speed limits would be reduced and some lanes could be closed if winds reached threshold levels.

With the strongest gusts forecast for midday and again from 6-7pm it was possible the bridge could be shut down completely temporarily, the trasnport agency said.

Drivers of high sided vehicles and motorcyclists were advised to avoid the bridge and use the western ring route on State Highways 16 and 18.

MetService has issued a long list of warnings or watches affecting Auckland and a part of Waikato in the north and extending as far south as Stewart Island.

Auckland Emergency Management warned people to stay indoors and avoid going outside unless necessary, in a post on Facebook.

“If you must go out, be cautious of flying debris,” it said.

“Watch for fallen branches and other obstacles.”

People were also being advised to secure outdoor items by bringing them inside or tying them down.

The strong wind watch also takes in the west coast of Waikato north of Kawhia Harbour, the Coromandel Peninsula and the Kaimai Range.

Western Taranaki from Urenui to Hawera may also be in for a similar dose of strong winds from 2pm tomorrow.

Heavy rain is forecast to move up the west coast of both islands also and reach Auckland and Northland later in the day.

There are snowfall warnings for three areas in the South Island also – Milford Road (SH94) from 10pm, Lindis Pass (SH8) and the Crown Range Road, both from 1am. Falls are expected to range from 1cm to 4cm.

Coastal parts of Clutha and Dunedin around the Otago Peninsula, coastal parts of Southland and Stewart Island are all expected to be affected by strong winds from around 8am.

Meanwhile, Christchurch had the chilliest start today at -3.3C.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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