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Thread: Massive storm heading for New Zealand

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    Default Massive storm heading for New Zealand

    Massive storm heading for New Zealand
    NZPA
    Last updated 17:59 15/09/2010

    One of the largest storms on the planet is scheduled to hit New Zealand tomorrow bringing gales, heavy rain and snow to much of the country.

    The storm, the size of Australia, is expected hit tomorrow afternoon bringing winds strong enough to bring down trees, power lines and even damage poorly built roofs/barns in some areas, a spokesman for Weatherwatch.co.nz said.

    MetService spokesman Peter Kreft said the storm would create conditions normally only seen in the Southern Ocean.

    "For a few days, New Zealand will be well and truly in the roaring 40s," Mr Kreft said.

    Blustery conditions will affect the entire North Island with severe gales likely about Wellington, Wairarapa and the tops of ranges.

    "The westerlies are likely to be strong or gale force in many places from later Thursday, with winds possibly reaching severe gale around central New Zealand late in the week," Mr Kreft said

    Strong winds would make driving much more difficult, especially for motorbikes, vans, trucks and other high sided vehicles.

    Heavy rain was expected for all western regions from Fiordland to Waikato starting tomorrow, with a number of fronts lasting until the weekend.

    Eastern areas, including quake-hit Canterbury, should miss most of the rain.

    Southland and Otago could expect heavy snow with a southerly change coming directly off the Antarctic shelf during Friday and Saturday, Mr Kreft said.

    Farmers in the middle of lambing were advised to move vulnerable stock into barns or sheltered areas by the end of Thursday as wind chills dropping to between -10degC and -20degC could hit some exposed farms.

    Heavy ocean swells were also expected off the western coasts of both islands, with the coast from Taranaki northwards expected to be struck by particularly rough seas for a few days from Friday.

    "These wild seas will need to be treated with respect," Mr Kreft said

    Meanwhile Environment Waikato (EW) has stepped up its flood monitoring for the Waikato and Waipa rivers in response to ongoing rain and the forecast of more over the next few days.

    As a precautionary measure, EW has activated a flood operations centre at its Hamilton headquarters so that it is ready to swing into action if river levels rise higher than currently forecast, duty emergency management officer Greg Ryan said.

    "The region is sodden, river and lake levels are high throughout the region, and will remain high as we approach this next spell of rain," Mr Ryan said.

    EW would work closely with Civil Defence to advise people should river levels reach dangerous levels, he said.

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    Oh dear! Do provide updates if any!

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    Default Stay safe out there

    Huge storm bears down on NZ
    5:37 PM Thursday Sep 16, 2010


    A satellite image shows the low-pressure system that is forecast to hit land today. Photo / Japan Meteorological Agency Expand

    New Zealanders are being advised to batten down the hatches and stay away from the beaches as a huge storm bears down on the country.

    The wild weather is expected to bring extreme conditions over the next 48 hours, including gale force winds, heavy rain and bitterly cold temperatures.

    The same weather system is already causing major problems in Tasmania with thousands of homes left without power as strong winds, snow and surf batter the state.

    The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported that Tasmanians were experiencing their coldest day in decades.

    A severe wind warning is already in force for Wellington, Wairarapa and the Marlborough Sounds and there was a possibility there could be severe gales for a time tomorrow in other areas of the North Island, Marlborough and also north Canterbury.

    A heavy rain warning is already in force for Fiordland and the ranges of Westland south of Otira for today and during tomorrow, with the possibility of significant amounts of heavy rain tomorrow about the ranges of Westland north of Otira, Buller, northwest Nelson and about Mount Taranaki.

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    Storm wreaks havoc across NZ
    By Vaimoana Tapaleao, Alice Neville and Paul Harper
    Breaking 7:24 PM Friday Sep 17, 2010


    File photo / Paul Estcourt

    The storm currently battering the country has brought down trees across State Highway One near Rangiriri in the Waikato, blocking northbound lanes entirely.

    Motorist Sue Willmore, who is travelling south, said "it looked like a tornado had gone through. There were massive trees down across the motorway. At least one car was smashed up."

    Tornadoes threaten Taranaki

    Meanwhile, Taranaki is now bearing the brunt of the massive storm lashing the country.

    The fire service is currently dealing with flooding in Opunake and high winds in New Plymouth have lifted a roof from a house.

    MetService warned of severe thunderstorms, very strong wind gusts and possible tornadoes in Taranaki from late this afternoon.

    Very strong wind gusts can break branches from trees, damage roofing, and make driving hazardous especially for high-sided vehicles and motorcycles, warned MetService.

    Tornadoes can blow out windows, lift roofs, break large branches off trees, generate dangerous flying debris and blow vehicles off the road.

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    Mother Bear

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    Storm misery: Dismal weather sting in tail
    By Michael Dickison, Wayne Thompson, NZPA and Olivia Carville
    7:44 AM Monday Sep 20, 2010

    North Islanders face nearly a week of dismal weather, hampering the big clean-up after the weekend storm that cut power to thousands of residents, closed roads and caused widespread damage.

    The news is even worse in Southland, where snow and wild weather are expected to force the closure today of many businesses and schools.

    Weatherwatch said last night that strong to gale-force winds would continue to hammer many parts of the country - mostly south of Auckland - and conditions were likely to get worse before they got better.

    "The large storm that has caused damage across the country will take another three or four days to fully move away," said head analyst Philip Duncan. "However, with the spring equinox arriving on Thursday, you can expect windy weather conditions to linger for the next four to six weeks."

    Westerly gales are forecast to become severe in parts of Hawkes Bay and Wairarapa today, with gusts of up to 130km/h - strong enough to damage power lines and trees and make driving hazardous.

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    Thousands still cut off by storm
    NZPA
    Last updated 15:41 21/09/2010

    Continuing stormy weather has left around 12,000 households and businesses across the North Island without power.

    About 9000 households in the central North Island started the day without power and severe wind gusts have now caused power cuts to a further 3000 customers in the Coromandel, Western Bay of Plenty, Taranaki and Wairarapa, lines company Powerco says.

    Wind gusts of more than 100kmh and wet weather are hampering efforts to restore services.

    "More bad weather is forecast so we still have a lot of work to do and we will continue until all customers are reconnected," Powerco operations manager Phil Marsh said.

    Powerco expected to restore power to about 5000 customers in Whangamata before dark today.

    Since Friday more than 72,000 customers have lost power at some stage.

    The public should keep well away from any downed overhead lines or other damaged network equipment, Mr Marsh said.

    The rough weather will be sticking around for another couple of days.

    WeatherWatch forecasted the conditions to ease in the far north on Thursday and gentler conditions to spread to the deep south in several days.

    Tomorrow is expected to stay windy with severe gale force winds in some places tomorrow evening.

    The windiest places on Wednesday will be Southland, Otago, Canterbury - near the Southern Alps, Marlborough, Wellington and especially Wairarapa and Hawke's Bay.

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    Lambs dying in their thousands as storm bites :( this is very sad

    Read Lambs dying in their thousands as storm bites - Business - NZ Herald News

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    Wild weather continues
    By Michael Dickison, NZPA and Paul Harper
    12:13 PM Wednesday Sep 22, 2010

    Strong winds continue to wreck havoc across New Zealand today, with trees, powerlines and buildings in the firing line.

    A gust of wind blew roofing from Lion Nathan's Auckland brewery into the path of a train this morning.

    Witness Jonathon Tango said the train, which had just pulled out of Newmarket Station, had no time to stop and collided with the debris.

    Earlier this morning squally winds swept over most of the North Island and a tornado was reported south-west of New Plymouth in Taranaki.

    MetService severe weather forecaster John Crouch said a fairly fast moving front with embedded thunderstorms moved over the Taranaki about 2-3am this morning, and tornadoes would have been possible. The front now lies east of New Zealand.

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    Mother Bear

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    More wild weather to hit country
    NZPA
    Last updated 17:47 22/09/2010

    Another fast moving front is expected to bring squally weather to a battered North Island overnight while more heavy snow is forecast for parts of Southland already battling the heaviest snowfall in years.

    Severe westerly gales, powerful enough to uproot trees, are expected in the Coromandel, according to WeatherWatch.

    Auckland has seen a morning of heavy showers, hail and isolated thunderstorms and the conditions are forecast to continue.

    There is a windchill of around 6degC in the southwesterly gusts.

    Some of the strongest winds this week have caused about 50 callouts to the Fire Service in Auckland, said Scott Osmond, from its northern communications centre.

    One piece of roof came off the former Lion Breweries building in Newmarket, close to the city centre, and landed on the nearby rail track.


    A spokeswoman for Veolia Transport said the piece of roof was cleared relatively quickly and trains were running as planned, though a 40kmh speed limit was set due to the high winds.

    Part of the roof of Auckland International Airport's domestic terminal has come off in high winds, an airport spokesman said.

    "Some of the tiles have come off," he said, adding that it had not affected aircraft movements.

    He said with occasional high gusts hitting the airport, every maintainance person was out working to counter the storm.

    "Everything loose is being tied down," he said.

    Mr Osmond said scaffolding had fallen and caused serious damage to a three-storey house under construction in suburban Hillsborough.

    Other than those, Mr Osmond said most of the callouts were about trees and power lines down.

    The weather had closed a number of roads in Auckland including the southbound Grafton Road onramp, the westbound Wellesley Street onramp, both south and northbound Dominion road offramps to Mount Roskill and the southbound Ellerslie onramp.

    Around 900 households were still without power across the North Island after six days of severe weather cut power to more than 79,000 customers, Powerco network operations manager Phil Marsh said.

    High winds overnight caused more damage to the network and most people currently without power are in the Wairarapa and Taranaki regions, he said.

    There are also isolated customers affected across the North Island in ones and twos because of minor faults and blown fuses.

    Power should be restored today unless there was further weather related damage.

    In Wanganui, a wave warning has been issued by MetService which has forecast waves of up to four metres, on the west coast of the North Island from Waitotara to Otaki overnight and on Friday.

    The cold snap in Southland which is plaguing farmers in peak lambing season looks unlikely to let up as MetService issues a heavy snow warning for inland Southland and Clutha.

    Significant snow is likely down to 100 metres overnight with another 10 to 15cm of snow possible over 200 metres.

    State Highway 94 between Te Anau and Milford Sound has been closed because of the snow until further notice.

    South Island farmers say that as many of a million lambs forecast to be born in Otago and Southland could die because of bitterly cold conditions.

    SNOWFALLS

    Huge dumpings of snow are causing havoc on roads throughout the lower and central North Island, with some roads still closed and others down to one lane.

    After fresh dumpings of snow overnight, police say conditions are treacherous.

    Rains and gale force winds have also caused numerous slips along large chunks of the North Island state highway network.

    Ealier today, Rimutaka Hill Rd north of Wellington has reopened after heavy snow, but police are still appealing to motorists to defer any unnecessary travel across the hill.

    Cars are only being allowed across in escorted convoys one direction at a time.

    Snow is still falling in the central North Island, around Taihape, the Desert Road and Ohakune.

    Motorists are being urged to take extreme care, and be prepared for road closures.

    A truck drove into a landslip across State Highway 2 between Woodville and Dannevirke, as stormy weather battered the lower North Island this morning.

    The 25-metre slip has now been partially cleared though the section of road is down to one lane.

    Surface flooding was also reported on State Highway 1, south of Levin.

    Slips on the Manawtu Gorge have slowed down traffic, as have slips and debris between Wanganui and Raetihi and on State Highway, 14km south of Taihape.

    SH43 from Stratford to Taumaranui remains closed.

    - with Stuff, The Dominion Post and Manawatu Standard

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