December 11, 2023

‘Cold blast’ set to plummet temperatures from 20s to single-digits, South Island’s windy weather blows truck over

Watch: Strong winds have caused havoc across parts of the South Island, and there's more to come.

Winter appears to have one final bite left with heavy snow watches and gale force winds whipping through the South Island. 

Wellington was battered under a strong wind warning too and MetService warns more is on the way elsewhere.  

A truck carrying five water tanks fell victim to a ferocious norwesterly – blown over in gale force winds and blocking State Highway 1 near Waipara on Thursday morning.  

Trees were in the firing line too, taking down lines and with it – power to some parts.  

“We’ve seen gusts of 120-130 km/h through that Canterbury region already,” MetService’s weather communiations head Lisa Murray said.   

She urged people to take care on the roads, especially those in high sided vehicles.   

Strong wind warnings cover Wellington through Canterbury, disrupting flights around the country.  Passengers flying in and out of the capital experienced a white-knuckle ride and Wellington residents faced a battle as they headed to work for the day.  

More wind is forecast at the weekend as Vanuatu authorities downgrade ex-Cyclone Lola to a tropical low.  

That’s now heading New Zealand’s way and will combine with other systems.  

“Northland can expect to see the swell and the wind, and even some of the showers from that late on Sunda. But really, it’s into Monday and Tuesday that we’ll start seeing the impacts of that,” Murray said. 

Further south, a cold front is set to bring snow down to 300 metres and possibly near sea level across Southland and Otago overnight.  

“What’s quite unusual about this event is we have a cold blast really coming up and knocking temperatures down from the mid 20s right down into single digits for some places,” said Murray. 

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