NZ Weather of interest

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Re: NZ Weather of interest

Postby Tasman » Fri Jul 01, 2011 11:21 pm

June one of hottest ever - despite cold nights
By Isaac Davison
5:30 AM Friday Jul 1, 2011

Above average rainfall that has filled Auckland's dams is one of a string of weather extremes that included the hottest-ever February and a late-arriving winter.

The warmest May on record was nearly followed by the hottest June, until a cold snap this week finally started the winter chill.

Until Tuesday, June temperatures were 1.8C warmer than usual throughout New Zealand, a temperature shared with June 2003.

Rainfall was also well above average for Auckland and parts of the North Island.

Freezing winds which arrived from the Southern Ocean this week have lowered the average temperature, but the month was still 1.6C warmer than normal, according to climate scientist Jim Salinger.

Dr Salinger said New Zealand's average temperature in June was 9.9C. "So it can be described as 0.5C shy of the warmest on record ... no wonder the snow was very late in coming."

National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa) climate scientist Brett Mullan said the mild June was the last trace of one of the strongest La Nina cycles the country has seen.


The wet month has also produced high river levels. Auckland's Watercare provider said the region's lake levels, fed by dams in the Hunua and Waitakere ranges, were at 100 per cent - above average for this time of year.

For the first 28 days of June, Auckland was 2C warmer than usual during the day and 2.3C warmer at night. The Mangere weather station recorded 160mm of rainfall this month, compared to an average of 139mm.

The hottest spot in the country was believed to be Kaikohe, which reached 26.3C.

At the other end of the thermometer, Lumsden and Clyde in the south of the South Island both dropped to 4.8C as winds from the Antarctic swept the country this week.

Coastal Otago was the only region to have a slightly cooler than usual June.

The warm start to winter delayed the opening of skifields, and led to lower lake inflows than expected.

This year has already brought Auckland's hottest February and the country's warmest May on record.

The mild weather looks likely to continue. Niwa's seasonal climate summary predicts temperatures near or above average for most of the country from July to September.

JUNE (FIRST 28 DAYS)
* New Zealand - 1.8C warmer than normal
* Warmest spot - Kaikohe: 26.3C.
* Coldest spot - Lumsden, Clyde: -4.8C.
* Auckland - 2C higher than normal, with 144-160mm (above average) rainfall.

2011: YEAR OF HEAT EXTREMES
* February - warmest on record for Auckland, Nelson, warmest day in Timaru in 125 years (41.4C).
* May - warmest on record for New Zealand, 2.5C above normal.
* June - New Zealand at least 1.5C higher than normal.

By Isaac Davison | Email Isaac

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/weather/news/article.cfm?c_id=10&objectid=10735566

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Re: NZ Weather of interest

Postby Pete » Tue Jul 05, 2011 5:41 pm

http://www.metservice.com/national/warn ... torm-watch
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH

Issued by MetService at 04:25 pm Tuesday 05 July 2011
Valid until 05:00 am Wednesday 06 July 2011
This watch affects people in the following weather forecast districts:

Northland
Auckland
Great Barrier Island
Coromandel Peninsula
Waikato
Waitomo
Taumarunui
Taranaki

An active front is expected to move onto the west of the North Island late this evening i.e. Northland and Taranaki by about midnight, and then move quickly eastwards to lie east of the Coromandel Peninsula by 7am Wednesday morning. Squally thunderstorms are expected along the front. Some of these thunderstorms may become SEVERE and have the potential to produce local wind gusts of 120km/hr or more. In addition, there is a risk that one or two of these thunderstorms could produce a tornado, especially in coastal areas.

Wind gusts of this strength can cause some structural damage, including trees and power lines, and may make driving hazardous. If any tornadoes occur, they will affect very localised areas only
.

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Re: NZ Weather of interest

Postby Tasman » Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:49 pm

I see they had a 6.5 Earthquake centred around Taupo today. North Island is getting a bit of a battering with the weather as well.

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Re: NZ Weather of interest

Postby Tim S » Fri Jul 08, 2011 5:12 pm

I felt that one at work, felt like being on a boat with side to side rocking motion. Most of the people at work felt it too but a few didn't, I suspect they were asleep. :)

Were finally getting some snow on the mountains around here, first decent snowfalls of the season too so about time. Now only two weeks until I hit the slopes, not literally though I hope! :)
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Re: NZ Weather of interest

Postby Tim S » Fri Jul 08, 2011 5:16 pm

Lert wrote:Crikey @Greymouth.. I hope supplies of Monteiths Doppelbock Winter Ale are not affected..


I actually owe you apology, that beer isn't half bad, I had tried another similar one and it didn't float my boat but I took a punt and bought a six pack of the winter ale, was quite tasty! :) I should have known someone who drinks tooheys old would have good taste! :oops: :mrgreen:
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Re: NZ Weather of interest

Postby Lert » Fri Jul 08, 2011 5:59 pm

Tim S wrote:
Lert wrote:Crikey @Greymouth.. I hope supplies of Monteiths Doppelbock Winter Ale are not affected..


I actually owe you apology, that beer isn't half bad, I had tried another similar one and it didn't float my boat but I took a punt and bought a six pack of the winter ale, was quite tasty! :) I should have known someone who drinks tooheys old would have good taste! :oops: :mrgreen:


Speaking of winter ale, I saw a stack of them at the bottle shop @52 dollars a carton so will be picking up another supply this weegend.. :D
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Re: NZ Weather of interest

Postby Tasman » Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:21 am

Tornado hits Kapiti Coast
KAY BLUNDELL Last updated 19:51 09/07/2011


Wild weather hits Kapiti Coast
"One van picked up and thrown 5m into paddock, two or more sheds taken out and one house all windows smashed, corrugated iron sheets flying 20m in air missing cars narrowly. Twenty trees uprooted.''


A tornado has torn through the Kapiti Coast putting a person into hospital, damaging houses and causing chaos on roads.

Several other people were wounded with lacerations and blood visible.


* If you have pictures or video of the tornado, please email newstips@stuff.co.nz.

The twister and a hail storm hit at around 4pm just north of Waikanae, inflicting most damage on three rural houses on Huia Road Extension.

In one home seven people were briefly trapped when the storm sent a tree crashing across it.

The injured person, believed to be a woman, was in a caravan knocked over by the tornado.

Vehicles on nearby State Highway One were knocked about by the tornado.

Acting Sergeant Nathan Dickey, of Kapiti Police, said a young man in the second car suffered cuts and was in shock.

He said cars were "sledging all over the place''.

Firefighter John Arthur told Radio New Zealand he saw a large amount of damage.

"There was one car on its side lying in a ditch and there were three other cars which had a fair bit of damage.

"The big, historic woolshed was quite badly damaged and I could see another building, possibly a shed, had been demolished."

Local Hector Sharp said it was “bloody scary” with at least 20 trees knocked down.

"One van picked up and thrown five metres into paddock, two or more sheds taken out and one house all windows smashed, corrugated iron sheets flying 20 metres in air missing cars narrowly.''

Waikanae resident Joshua Tabor said the weather bomb came in from the south.

"It sounded like an explosion as it hit the house. My wife got the kids in the centre of the room away from the windows while I closed the blinds. With the hail, rain, and high wind we were afraid the windows were going to shatter.

''It sounded like machine gun fire.''

Dickey said power lines came down. Power has since been restored.

Another local who preferred to remain nameless said it was all "bloody terrifying".

Radio New Zealand said the tornado crossed the highway, blowing a van on to its side, injuring the driver.

It then roared up a nearby hill, stripping trees bare, overturning residents' cars and tearing roofing iron from barns, throwing it around Huia Street.

MetService says tornadoes are not unusual during thunderstorms, with stormy weather hammering the Kapiti Coastline for most of today.



- Stuff
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/5261305/Tornado-hits-Kapiti-Coast

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Re: NZ Weather of interest

Postby Tim S » Wed Jul 13, 2011 5:34 pm

A photo of hail from the cell that spawned the Kapiti Tornado are here: http://www.weatherwatch.co.nz/content/c ... own-kapiti 5cm is very big indeed for a winter storm!

Was also a strong winter tornado, judging by the damage pics I saw was around a strong F2, similar damage to the Australind Tornado back in 08 (i Think).
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Re: NZ Weather of interest

Postby Tim S » Sun Jul 24, 2011 3:08 pm

NZ is currently getting a polar blast, with snow to sea level for almost all of the South & East coast of the South Island. Expecting a bit of snow on the hills around here to around 300-400m asl! :)

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/5332078 ... from-south
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NZ Weather of interest

Postby Fu Manchu » Sun Jul 24, 2011 5:08 pm

.

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Re: NZ Weather of interest

Postby Tim S » Sun Jul 24, 2011 6:30 pm

It actually snowed at my place, only a few flakes mixed with the rain but it was definitely snow! Sounds like most of the Nelson region got snow tonight, which I think is the first time in around 50 years snow has been reported to Sea Level in the Nelson region! :)
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NZ Weather of interest

Postby SimonB » Sun Jul 24, 2011 7:38 pm

I saw on your sig that it was only 5.4 this arvo - brrrr...
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Re: NZ Weather of interest

Postby Fu Manchu » Sun Jul 24, 2011 10:25 pm

Down Town Nelson earlier today...
Image

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Re: NZ Weather of interest

Postby Tasman » Sat Jul 30, 2011 6:57 pm

Just back from 3 weeks in Auckland. Was very strange listening to weather reports for Auckland and the chance of snow around Auckland in the Hunua Ranges, Waitakeres & Coromandel Pin.

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Re: NZ Weather of interest

Postby Tasman » Sun Aug 14, 2011 7:01 am

Just back again from NZ and looks like I've missed out on another polar blast...

Snow in strange places as massive low arrives
By Jospeh Aldridge
5:30 AM Sunday Aug 14, 2011

A bitterly cold snow storm making its way up the country looks set to dump heavy snow throughout much of the South Island and lower North Island in coming days.

Snow is predicted to settle to sea level in Southland, Canterbury and Wellington, and a dusting is expected to fall in Napier, Taupo and even Rotorua.

The snow will be the result of a massive low pressure weather system currently making its way up the east coast.

Weather Watch senior analyst Philip Duncan said the low-pressure system was one of the biggest he's ever seen.

"This set-up is something that you see only a few times in a lifetime."

"The highest risk area will be Wellington. There is a risk of snow settling to low levels in Wellington." Duncan said heavy snow may close the Desert Road and State Highway 2 at the Rimutaka ranges.

"Motorists may find the only way they can drive to Wellington is through Taranaki," he said.


The storm will travel north in waves, Duncan said. The first will pass over the North Island tonight and the second, more-serious blast will pass over on Tuesday night. People in Waikato and Auckland would possibly see snow on the mountain ranges in their areas, Duncan said."This is Auckland's best shot of getting snow."

"If this storm had formed more to the west, I have no doubt that snowflakes would be falling over Auckland. Freezing level will be similar to July. We don't expect the levels to be any lower, but there will be probably more snow."


http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/artic ... d=10745066
By Jospeh Aldridge

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Re: NZ Weather of interest

Postby Pete » Sun Aug 14, 2011 8:20 am

Dad was looking at NZ the other day on Google maps and saying how much it had changed since we left. :|

Looks like NZ are in for a real nasty blast of cold air. 500mb temps of -45C in some areas, there'll be snow down to sea level! :shock:

SEVERE WEATHER WATCH FOR AUCKLAND,TAUMARUNUI,GISBORNE,HAWKES BAY,
NELSON,MARLBOROUGH,OTAGO

ISSUED BY METSERVICE AT 1059hrs 14-Aug-2011

COLD OUTBREAK MAY BRING HEAVY SNOW TO LOW LEVELS IN TAUMARUNUI,
GISBORNE, HAWKES BAY, NORTHWEST NELSON AND MARLBOROUGH, SOUTHWEST
GALES IN AUCKLAND AND SOUTHERLY GALES IN COASTAL OTAGO

A bitterly cold southwesterly flow is expected to strengthen and tend
southerly today as a cold front moves north across the nation.

In Taumarunui snow is expected to lower to low levels this evening.
From Sunday evening to early on Monday morning expect significant
amounts. Another burst of significant snow is expected from late on
Monday afternoon into Monday evening.

In Hawkes Bay and Gisborne snow is expected to lower to around 500m
Sunday evening and to near sea level overnight Sunday. Significant
amounts of snow may accumulate above 400 metres. Further significant
amounts may accumulate to near sea level Monday evening.

In northwest Nelson and about northern Marlborough, snow is expected
to lower to 300m late this afternoon and to near sea level this
evening. From Sunday afternoon until midnight, significant snow may
accumulate above 300 metres and lesser amounts to around 100m.

While amounts in these areas are not expected to reach warning
criteria this snow event could cause disruptions to travel. A watch
will be maintained in case these watches need to be upgraded to
warnings.

In the Auckland area southwesterlies may rise to severe gale Sunday
evening but ease on Monday morning. Winds could make driving
hazardous, especially for high-sided vehicles, and boaties should
check their moorings.

About the Otago Coast southerlies may rise to severe gale from late
Sunday, but ease slowy on Monday morning.

Snow and icy conditions will make driving very hazardous,especially
on higher roads throughout the South Island and over parts of the
North Island in the coming days. Strong, bitterly cold winds and snow
are expected to affect many parts of the country and farmers are
advised that stock may need shelter. The situation is being monitored
closely and further warnings are likely as this event unfolds.

This Watch will be reviewed by 9pm Sunday 14th August
Forecast prepared by: Hordur Thordarson

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Re: NZ Weather of interest

Postby Vinny » Sun Aug 14, 2011 11:48 am

New Zealand braces for an intense winter storm
Josh Fisher, Saturday August 13, 2011 - 15:43 EST

A powerful winter storm that is barreling towards New Zealand will bring a gale force and bitterly cold southwest change that will drop snowfalls to sea-level.

A low is sitting just to the north of the country, but as it continues its track to the east it will send the first round of cold air in today. Showers and brisk southwest winds will spread into the south and snow levels will drop to around 300 metres tonight.

The low will intensify to the southeast of New Zealand over the next few days, dragging a polar airmass far north. Sunday through Tuesday is when the coldest of this wintry blast will engulf the country.

Snow will fall to near sea level in eastern and southern parts of the South Island and to low levels across the North Island. The gale force winds combined with heavy snow could create blizzard conditions over parts of the south.

This unusually cold polar blast will cause travel headaches as snow falls in areas that are not prone to the wintry weather. Major centres that are likely to be affected by the low level snow include, Dunedin, Christchurch and Wellington.

The wintry blast will batter New Zealand until Wednesday, before conditions finally ease.

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Re: NZ Weather of interest

Postby Tasman » Mon Aug 15, 2011 7:11 pm

Sorry for the long quote, but I think it makes quite a good read..


Snow falls in Auckland for first time in decades
By Amelia Wade, Hayden Donnell, Paul Harper and NZPA
12:08 PM Monday Aug 15, 2011

Snow has fallen in downtown Auckland for the first time in 80 years as a 'once in a lifetime' polar blast spreads across New Zealand, forecasters say.

Widespread reports of snow emerged this afternoon as bitterly cold and stormy conditions set in around Auckland.

Weatherwatch.co.nz this afternoon confirmed snowflakes had fallen in Auckland city centre for the first time since the 1930s.

Its head forecaster Philip Duncan said snow flurries could hit amid expected bitterly cold conditions this evening.

"If Auckland is getting reports of snow flurries now at the warmest point of the day that makes you wonder about what might be coming tonight.

"There could be some snow flurries in Queen Street, but it won't settle."

Mr Duncan said 'graupel' - a soft hail that resembles snow - along with hail and sleet were also falling across the city.

He said snow would settle at heights of 200m and fall to 100m in Auckland overnight.

The storm was a 'once in a lifetime' event and similar conditions had not been seen in the city since the 1930s, he said.

Meanwhile, snowfall is being reported in downtown Wellington.


Twitter users reported heavy falls in Newton, while Parliament workers have confirmed snowfall at the Beehive.

The bitterly cold southerly blast has now brought snow to most of New Zealand, closing roads, some airports and cutting power to thousands.

Snow has made roads impassable in many areas of both islands.

MetService head forecaster Peter Kreft told NZPA the polar blast was "of the order of a 50 year'' event and warned it could last for several more days.

"It's a once in many decades event. We are probably looking at something like - in terms of extent and severity, maybe 50 years,'' he said.

The level of snow that fell in Wellington had not been seen since at least the 1970s, he said.

The front was bringing snow to parts of the country which did not usually see it and even Auckland would not be spared.

"I'd be surprised if over the next few days people didn't see sleet [in Auckland],'' he said.

NZ Post warned mail deliveries would be delayed in many areas because of the snow.

Animals in the snow

Christchurch's Orana Zoo is closed to the public because of the snow, but if it were open there would not be much for people to see.

"Ninety-nine per cent of the animals are inside," animal collection manager Ian Adams said.

"I wouldn't have thought many are enjoying the cold, they usually come out and play when it is sunny.

"We haven't had much snow, probably just two to three inches. The wind chill is the issue, it's much colder than usually."

Mr Adams said the key when the temperature dips was to keep the animals well fed and sheltered.

Animals at Wellington Zoo have also been confronting the cold.

Meanwhile Federated Farmers are not expecting the polar blast to adversely affect livestock.

Adverse events spokesperson David Rose said farmers had received plenty of notice from MetService to move vulnerable stock into sheltered paddocks and into yards.

"The MetService is also forecasting a number of good weather days towards week's end, so the light is appearing at the end of the tunnel.

"The only note of concern is from areas where snow is a complete rarity, like the Waikato. Dairy farmers couldn't believe their eyes this morning that they were milking in snowfall. Being in a 'warmer' part of New Zealand, lambing is underway there.

"That said, in the Bay of Plenty, farmers are mostly reporting a light dusting of snow and lambing is really just beginning up there. Certainly, there are no real issues for livestock and it's a similar picture in Auckland and Northland.

"While there are pockets of lambing underway in Canterbury, for the cooler regions of New Zealand or those at elevation, full scale lambing is still several weeks away.

Mr Rose said lambing does not begin in Southland until September and the High Country until October.

"Lambs and calves are incredibly robust. Even if it's cold for us humans, it takes just a few days of settled weather for them to find their feet."

Strong winds in Auckland cause injuries

Strong winds are also buffeting the north of the country, causing injuries to a number of people in Auckland city.

Four people have been taken to Middlemore Hospital after a tree fell on their home in Pakuranga Heights, Auckland this morning.

St John duty operations manager Patsy Carlyle said the mother and her two children received minor injuries, while an older man at the same address received moderate head injuries.

St John was called out to another weather-related incident at 7am this morning when ambulance officers tended a man in his 70s who had been blown against a pole at Grafton, moderately injuring his arm and leg.

He was taken to Auckland Hospital.

Fire Service crews in the northern half of the North Island have had a busy morning, with around 50 weather-related callouts between 8am and 9am.

Incidents ranged from downed trees and power lines to roofs being lifted due to high winds.

"It just went nuts for a period there," spokesman Colin Underdown said. "It's all calmed down now."

Big snow shutdown

Snow has made road conditions impassable in many parts of both islands.

Dunedin woke this morning to between three and four centimetres snow in the central city with the northern motorway closed in both directions and the southern motorway only open to traffic coming in to the city, Senior Constable Ian Henderson told NZPA.

In other parts of the South Island State Highway 1 is closed from Dunedin to Gore, Dunedin to Palmerston and Kaikoura To Waipara. Many other roads were also closed.

Mr Henderson warned people to think twice before driving unless they had a four-wheel-drive and chains.

The Southern District Health Board has postponed elective surgery and outpatient appointments at Dunedin and Wakari Hospitals today.

Dunedin Airport was also closed this morning with about 150 passengers forced to stay there overnight after four flights were grounded.

The airport would remain closed until the weather improved and ice on the runway was able to melt, Dunedin Airport chief executive John McCall told Radio New Zealand.

Passengers were also left stranded in Queenstown Airport and a number have flights had been cancelled in and out of Christchurch Airport this morning.

Christchurch Airport advised people to check with their airline before going to the airport.

Many schools across the South Island were closed for the day.

'Stay at home' message to South Islanders

Christchurch police urged people to check conditions before travelling and drive to the conditions.

"We are asking the public to stay at home and delay all non-essential travel if they do not think they can travel safely in their local conditions,'' Inspector Al Stewart, Canterbury road policing manager said.

Canterbury University, Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology, and Otago University's Christchurch campus had all been closed for the day and Environment Canterbury said all Christchurch metro bus services had been suspended until further notice.

Invercargill police said there had been some snow flurries overnight but rain had washed away most of the snow.

Southland Civil Defence was advising people to stay at home and avoid all non-essential travel this morning.

North Island roads affected

The main highways in and out of Hawke's Bay have been closed by snow as a result of the polar blast covering much of New Zealand.

The New Zealand Transport Agency reports State Highway 5 Napier To Taupo Road is closed due to snow along with State Highway 2 Norsewood - Waipukurau and State Highway 2 Gisborne To Nuhaka Road. State Highway 2 from Dannevirke To Norsewood is also closed.

It is unclear when the roads will reopen.

Snow has also fallen in many parts of the North Island including in and around Wellington.

Many hill roads around the capital were closed this morning, including the Rimutaka Hill Road. The Desert Road and the alternate route through National Park in the central North Island were also closed.

Power cuts in lower North Island, parts of Christchurch

High winds and snow caused trees and branches to tear down power lines cutting power to about 6000 customers across the lower North Island overnight and this morning.

"Supply is being progressively restored to customers and there are currently around 4000 properties without supply, the majority of those being in South Taranaki with a few in rural Wanganui, Manawatu and Wairarapa,'' Powerco Network operations manager Phil Marsh said.

Mr Marsh said Powerco expected to restore supply to the majority of affected customers by the end of the day..

"Safety is our number one priority and it is likely that if the forecast severe weather deteriorates we will have to call our field staff off the job until it is safe for them to be back out on the roads,'' he said.

Snow cut power to a few hundred people in Christchurch and central Canterbury overnight, lines company Orion said.

Crews were working as "fast as possible'' to restore power to parts of Sumner, Tai Tapu and Springston, Orion manager Rob Jamieson said.

"In general the network is coping pretty well, with fewer issues at this stage than we experienced during the July snow storm.

"However, it's likely to be a longer event this time, and our crews are ready to respond quickly to any further issues and make any repairs needed,'' Mr Jamieson said.

Snow in unusual places

Snow had settled in Wanganui for the first time since 1974, Constable Simon Beswarick told NZPA.

Worse weather is predicted for the North Island - including Auckland - today.

Last night, rescuers finally managed to free 100 people who had been trapped in their vehicles on the Rimutaka Hill Rd, between Wellington and Wairarapa.

Inspector Mike Coleman of police communications said officers had earlier urged people "to stay in their vehicles rather than get out and walk".

Emergency services used a four- wheel-drive vehicle and a snow plough to clear the road and rescue the motorists by 9pm. Other drivers were still trapped in parts of the Wairarapa.

Auckland snow forecast

Today, Auckland will have its turn. Snow is forecast to fall and possibly settle on the tops of the Waitakere and Hunua ranges and the peaks of the Coromandel Peninsula.

WeatherWatch chief analyst Philip Duncan said the polar outbreak was unlike anything he had seen.

"I've been watching the weather closely for about 15 years and I've never seen a prediction like this."

A large high stretching from the Antarctic to the sub-tropics had merged with three low-pressure systems to create the unusual weather.

He predicted snow to 200m above sea level in Auckland this morning.

"It doesn't mean that it's going to sit up there and snow all day, it just means that as the turbulent showers come through, they can drop snow," Mr Duncan said. "So we'll see it snow to about 200 metres and we'll get sleet below that."

He said Auckland could expect a maximum temperature of 10C today and 9C tomorrow.

The city's lowest recorded daily maximum is 7.8C.

Wellington's 'snowmageddon'

The snowfall in Wellington caused excitement and chaos throughout the city last night. Snow settled in the northern suburbs, including Churton Park, Newlands and Karori, and there was flooding in Kilbirnie.

The final of the Ford National Hockey League was called off mid-game because of the weather.

English actor Stephen Fry, who is in Wellington filming The Hobbit, was among hundreds of people who took to Twitter.

"It's been an exciting day here in Wellington. Snow. That's unusual ... NZ is same latitude as Melbourne so it's rare," Fry tweeted.

Another person described it as "snowmageddon".

"In wellington playing in the SNOW!!! theres so much of it!! yee snow fights and snow men!," said Kelsey Pilbrow.

Thomas Beagle, from the inner Wellington suburb of Northland, told the Herald he had never seen anything like it in the 40 years he had been in the city.

"It's really incredible. Everyone's very excited about it and getting out there ... I think they're hoping for more snow tomorrow so they don't have to go to work."


THE OUTLOOK

Today

* Snow expected to fall in Auckland region peaks. Maximum high of 10C.

* More snow for Wellington, Wanganui, Palmerston North, Napier and Hastings regions.

* More heavy snow expected in the South Island, with Queenstown dropping to minus 4C.

Tomorrow

* Auckland's maximum temperature expected to be 9C.

* Heavy showers forecast for much of the North Island.

* More heavy snow in the South Island and lower North Island.

* The polar outbreak will start to move from the north of New Zealand.

- additional reporting NZPA

By Amelia Wade, Hayden Donnell, Paul Harper and NZPA | Email Amelia


http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10745187

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Re: NZ Weather of interest

Postby Tasman » Mon Aug 15, 2011 7:24 pm

Sorry another long quote, but good read...


Major weather disruption around NZ

Last updated 19:51 15/08/2011



New Zealanders are being urged to stock-up on emergency food and water tonight as the worst winter storm in decades is set to continue.

The Antarctic blast, described by MetService as close to a one in 50 year event, has seen roads, schools and airports closed, cut power to thousands of homes and stopped mail deliveries in parts of the country.

The storm had also brought snow in places that don't usually see it, including Wellington and Auckland where snow hasn't fallen in more than 30 years.

MetService spokesman Bob McDavitt said today was likely to be the coldest day and warned New Zealanders to prepare for more snow over the next few days.

"Snow is expected to move offshore during Wednesday," he said.

"As the clouds move away and the winds die down, you'll have frost and black ice on Thursday, maybe even moving into Thursday night or Friday in the central areas."

The heaviest snowfall was expected between Canterbury and Wairarapa, as well as Manawatu towards Taranaki.

"The conditions are cold enough to bring snow down to 300 metres, the height of the Sky Tower," McDavitt said.

St John regional operations manager for the South Island, Chris Haines, said people should make sure they have stockpiled enough emergency food, water and other essential supplies as a precaution.

While in Wellington, Civil Defence manager Rian Van Schalkwyk warned residents to stock up on supplies, in preparation for being trapped indoors.

"People should prepare for the worst, which means making sure they're ready in the event that they cannot leave home and may be without electricity and other amenities," he said.

Police have warned of treacherous driving conditions as the snow that blanketed New Zealand today will turn to ice.

Many state highways around New Zealand were closed, including the Desert Road and Rimutaka Hill road in the North Island and the Lewis Pass and Arthurs Pass in the South Island.

"We're warning drivers that, unlike today where the snow was a clearly visible hazard, there will be large areas of ice on the roads tomorrow, especially in rural and shaded areas, that you will not be able to see," Inspector Al Stewart, of Christchurch police, said.

Road users should assess their local road conditions and stay home or delay non-essential travel where possible, he said.

Today, flurries were reported in Clevedon, Flat Bush, Pukekohe and the Waitakeres, while strong winds brought down dozens of trees, toppled power lines and flipped trampolines in south Auckland.

Five people were taken to hospital with moderate injuries in Auckland. A Pakuranga family of four were taken to Middlemore Hospital after a tree fell on their house this morning, and an elderly man was taken to Auckland City Hospital after being blown over.

In the South Island, St John Ambulance attended to nine people, including three in Christchurch, who fell on ice or snow.

Haines said St John has not been as busy today as they were during the snow last month, but the workload had been steady.

"We will continue to monitor the situation for the rest of the day and overnight. We are still using four wheel drive ambulances, as well as other 4WD vehicles as rapid response vehicles," he said.

Eight motor vehicle crashes have been reported to Christchurch police between 6am and mid-afternoon, mostly of a minor nature with no serious injuries.

In the capital, another flurry of snow fell down to sea level in parts of the city, including Lambton Quay, Cuba St and Parliament. Residents in Newtown, Island Bay, and Newlands all reported further snow falls from around 11am.

MetService said the level of snow that fell in Wellington had not been seen since at least 1970s, and another 5cm was expected over the next 24 hours.

The weather today cut power to thousands of households across the country.

Over 2000 Powerco customers in South Taranaki, Wanganui, Manawatu and Wairarapa, and about 100 Orion customers in Christchurch were still without power this afternoon.

Powerco network operations manager Phil Marsh said power would be restored to about 1500 customers by tonight, but some areas would remain without supply overnight and more power cuts were likely tomorrow.

In Wellington, a power outage around 5.40pm tonight affected about 800 households in the Whitemans Valley and Makara areas.

The capital has also experienced power trouble with "voltage dips" this evening. A Wellington Electricity spokesman said it was caused by a rise in demand.

Mail deliveries were cancelled in Hawke's Bay, Wairarapa, Wellington, Canterbury and Otago.

Air and road travel was also disrupted with many roads in both islands closed this morning and flights out of Christchurch, Queenstown and Dunedin cancelled.

Wellington Airport has temporarily put all its flight on hold while the runway was cleared of excess ice and snow. A spokeswoman said the conditions would be constantly evaluated throughout the night.

Around 150 passengers were stranded at Dunedin Airport overnight, and in Auckland, flights to Queenstown have been cancelled and there were no seats available until Thursday.

In the North Island, snow has closed the Desert Road and the alternative route north, State Highway 4, as well as the Rimutaka Hill Rd in Wellington, and the Napier - Taupo Road (SH5).

In the South Island, SH1 between Kaikoura and Waipara is closed, as is the Lindis Pass (SH8), SH6 between Queenstown and Five Rivers, the Lyttelton Tunnel (SH74) in Christchurch, and the highways north and south from Dunedin.

Police advised people to avoid driving if possible in the worst snow-hit areas and to be cautious.

Meanwhile, about 1900 dairy farms in the South Island are dumping thousands of litres of milk as Fonterra's collection tankers are stranded because of the severe weather conditions.

Fonterra's sustainability teams were in contact with farms who need to dispose of milk, and were liasing with regional councils.

The company was unable to say at this stage how many litres it had lost, or whether it would compensate farmers.

- STUFF, with AUCKLAND NOW, THE DOMINION POST, and NZPA


http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/5443420/Major-weather-disruption-around-NZ

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Re: NZ Weather of interest

Postby Pete » Sun Sep 11, 2011 2:11 pm

http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-n ... s-Auckland

Tornado hits Auckland

A tornado has hit the west Auckland suburb of Avondale.

The fire service received reports around 1pm that a tornado was moving through the suburb.

Northern communications shift manager Jarron Phillips says Wairau Ave sustained the most damage and was closed.

One house was hit by lightning, Phillips confirmed. Powerlines had fallen onto other homes in the area.

Several homes and blocks of flats were damaged, Phillips said.

Senior station officer for Avondale fire Esitone Pauga said people were leaving a flea market in the area at the time the tornado hit.

Pauga said they were keeping people out of affected homes for safety reasons.

Power was still on in the area and residents were not too frightened, Pauga said.

Mark Hackett, who moved to Auckland from Christchurch to escape the earthquakes, said his family's garage was destroyed but luckily his family was safe.

Fire services said the tornado also hit the Ash St area.

Six fire engines in total attended Ash St and Wairau Ave.

There were no reports of injuries.

MetService issued a moderate thunderstorm warning for the upper North Island region, including Auckland, this morning, with gusts of up to 100km/h, small hail and localised heavy rain forecast.

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