Storm update | Rain, wind and more for Sunday

It was a relatively quiet night for the Auckland region but we’re still keeping a close eye on volatile weather systems and expecting a wild afternoon – that’s today’s update from weather forecasters and Auckland Civil Defence.

High winds are expected to hit the region later this morning, bringing further bad weather. Aucklanders are urged to keep a close eye on weather forecasts, plan their day around the conditions and avoid travel if possible.

As a priority, Great Barrier Island residents are advised to brace themselves for extreme winds in the lead up to midday.

Auckland Civil Defence Operations Manager Aaron Davis says weather systems swirling around the upper North Island are quite changeable, making it hard to predict where the worst weather will affect.

“We know that some pretty messy weather is coming – the difficulty we’re all facing is knowing exactly where it will land.

“This makes it very important for all Aucklanders to be keeping an eye on forecasts and the weather outside, and making sensible decisions for their Sunday afternoon.

“We’ve been getting the wind warning message out to our communities on Great Barrier Island as a priority, they’re likely to be the first area hit by high winds,” he says.

MetService has advised that a small low will cross over Auckland about midday today, accompanied by potentially damaging winds, a chance of tornadoes and another burst of heavy rain. A severe thunderstorm watch is in place between 8am to 2pm.

The worst of the wind and rain should occur around noon or in the early afternoon. Localised gusts of 100-120 km/hr are possible, particularly around Great Barrier Island. This is a fast moving and very unstable system with a risk of small tornadoes anywhere across the region. Winds should ease after 2pm and remaining showers should start to clear.

Mr Davis says high winds may bring trees and powerlines down. Power companies are on standby, ready to manage outages which occur.

“It’s also a good idea to consider your travel plans as roads may get a bit messy with debris or could be prone to flooding,” he says.

What does this mean for you?

·         Secure outdoor furniture and items

·         Have a battery-operated radio handy in case of power outages

·         Avoid travel if possible. If you must go out, drive to the conditions – look out for debris and never drive through floodwater

·         Bring pets inside

·         If experiencing high winds, consider closing curtains as windows could be broken by trees or debris

·         Look out for neighbours and check on any that need help.

If life or property is at risk, call 111. If you experience stormwater issues or trees down on public land, call Auckland Council on (09) 301 0101. Council and emergency services are experiencing high call volumes so please be patient or call again later if your matter is not urgent.

Issued 12 March 2017, 10.20am