Saturday, April 13, 2024

Strong winds wreak havoc across NZ

Neal Wallace
Strong westerly wind gusts, which caused mayhem from Canterbury to Wairarapa in the past 24 hours, could return on Sunday and Monday. Gusts of up to 150km/h on Friday morning toppled trees, which blocked roads and downed power lines, sparked fires, tipped over irrigators and grain silos and ripped off roofing iron through the central region of the country.
Reading Time: < 1 minute

Strong westerly wind gusts, which caused mayhem from Canterbury to Wairarapa in the past 24 hours, could return on Sunday and Monday.

Gusts of up to 150km/h on Friday morning toppled trees, which blocked roads and downed power lines, sparked fires, tipped over irrigators and grain silos and ripped off roofing iron through the central region of the country.

WeatherWatch head forecaster Philip Duncan says wind gusts of up to 150km/h were recorded in Canterbury and up to 180km/h in the lower North Island.

Thousands of homes and businesses were without power across Mid, South and North Canterbury today as the winds caused havoc.

The unsettled spring weather is changing tact, with snow forecast down to 800m overnight in inland parts of the South Island.

Mid Canterbury Federated Farmers chair David Clark says the wind only lasted about five hours, peaking about 3am or 4am on Friday morning.

He went outside at 3am, but such was the danger, he decided against his intention of checking his farm.

“It was too dangerous to even drive around the farm,” Clark said

Feds North Canterbury chair Caroline Amyes says the district has suffered plenty of damage, including shed roofs blown off.

Snow showers and cold temperatures plagued parts of Southland, Otago and Canterbury during the week and while few problems with lambing have been reported, feed is short due to a dry autumn and wet winter.

Duncan says more north to northwest winds are forecast for inland parts of Otago and Canterbury on Sunday, reaching 130km/h before moving up to the North Island late Sunday and Monday.

Such winds are typical for spring but patterns in recent years mean they have been largely absent. 

A large high weather system expected next week should block westerly weather patterns, but allow a cold southern front to move onto the southern South Island.

Total
0
Shares
People are also reading