Wellington Scoop

NIWA warns of “really windy day”

Report from RNZ
Summer is officially underway but it’s a wet and windy start for some parts of the country. NIWA meteorologist Chris Brandolino told Morning Report: “Wellington tomorrow could be a really windy day, even for Wellington standards.”

heavy rainfall is also on its way for the lower North Island and the west of the South Island.

“[It] is certainly a horse of a different colour – just some very heavy rainfall, that’s the simplest way to describe it.”

While the region is familiar with rain in December, this is weather out of the ordinary, he said.

A flow of air is coming up the Tasman, which is unusually warm for this time of the year, Mr Brandolino said. Over 500mm of rainfall is expected in the higher areas over the next 48 hours.

“If you’re near a river, or near a stream, the risk for flooding is certainly going to be elevated this week because there’s going to be multiple episodes of rainfall.”

Rain events will be spread throughout the week. “It’s the West Coast of the South Island that gets the lions share.” As water makes its way down from the Alps to the eastern parts of Canterbury water levels may rise despite the region seeing less rainfall on the ground, he said.

There’ll be strong wind gusts as well, starting this afternoon on the West Coast.

The Indian Ocean Dipole is unusually strong and it’s at the steering wheel of mother nature’s car for this month, he said.

“That will relinquish its power some time in January. Until that happens, the West Coast of the South Island is going to be a pretty wet and unsettled place to be.”


  1. Russell Bell, 2. December 2019, 13:43

    According to windy.com it’ll be 35kt northerlies tomorrow which is not exceptional by Wellington standards. Perhaps Chris expects it’ll be stronger. He should give us a figure in knots (average wind speed at sea level) or a description from the Beaufort scale. Predicting it’ll be “really windy” in Wellington is about as useful as Ken Ring’s vague earthquake predictions.

  2. greenwelly, 2. December 2019, 15:16

    According to Metservice, it will be “severe gales”.
    Area: Wellington. Valid: 17 hours from 1:00am to 6:00pm Tuesday. Forecast: Northwest gales are forecast to be severe in exposed places at times, with gusts reaching 120 km/h.
    Severe Gale from the Metservice is 89khm+ i.e. Beaufort Force 10; gusts at 120km are force 12.

  3. greenwelly, 2. December 2019, 16:34

    Metservice have now increased the gust speeds to 140kmh. I’m expecting lots of news shots tomorrow night of people at the Whitmore/Featherston street corner hanging on to poles.

  4. Russell Bell, 3. December 2019, 9:43

    To convert from knots to the Beaufort scale you need the average wind speed, not the peak gust speed. As of 9am Wellington airport are reporting a 28 knot northerly, thus “moderate gale / near gale” on Beaufort. It will likely get up to about 35-40 knots by midday. “Gusts at 120km/hr” (or 140 km/hr) is not force 12 (hurricane force) because the Beaufort scale assumes average wind speed at sea level, not the peak gust recorded on the top of Mt Kaukau.