Rain, strong wind kicks off holiday weekend


Wellington, June 1, 2019

South Island roads, including Arthurs Pass, are affected by snow or heavy rain (Photo: NZTA)

Gale force winds are on the way for parts of New Zealand, snow is due at low levels and heavy rain overnight kept Canterbury emergency services busy.

Gales and a southerly change are forecast for central and northern New Zealand.

The strong winds are due to affect Hawke’s Bay south of Hastings, Tararua District, Wairarapa, Wellington, Kaikōura Coast and Banks Peninsula, MetService said.

Early on Saturday, fire services said they had 25 weather-related calls overnight for minor flooding in the North Canterbury towns of Woodend, Kaiapoi and Rangiora.

Rain in Christchurch

Christchurch recorded 50 mm of rain over 12 hours.

MetService is warning of heavy rain due on the Kaikōura Coast, along with gale southerlies.

Heavy snow is also expected in the area north of Mt Cook and about the Kaikōura ranges above 400 metres.

Many South Island roads have had snow or are getting affected by heavy rain.

Dunedin police have sounded the alarm as “brass monkey” weather created a perfect storm for carnage on the roads this holiday weekend, the Otago Daily Times reported.

“That extra 20 kmh over the limit is only going to get you to the next car ahead of you faster,” Senior Sergeant Craig Dinnissen said. “Passing lanes aren’t drag strips. We don’t want to be telling your loved ones you aren’t coming home again.”

Murky Conditions

Murky and rainy conditions in some parts of the South and the large number of motorcycles on the roads for the Brass Monkey Rally could create a perfect storm for crashes, and police would be out in force this weekend, Snr Sgt Dinnissen said.

“Plan for a long trip home. If you’re running late, just be late.”

The Transport Agency said a strong wind warning on the Remutaka Hill (State Highway 2) north of Wellington had been lifted.

MetService meteorologist Kyle Lee says it was likely to stay cold for much of the Queen’s Birthday weekend before warming briefly in the North Island on Tuesday.

He said May was a few degrees warmer than usual but temperatures now look to drop back to normal for this time of year.

-RNZ/Otago Daily Times. Published under a Special Agreement with www.rnz.co.nz


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