Wellington Scoop

Flights resume at Wellington Airport after a day of cancellations because of gales

Wellington Airport says this morning that flights are scheduled to resume today after yesterday’s severe weather.

All international flights departed on time this morning.

There may be some delays as airlines work through the backlog. The airport advises travellers to check with their airline or the Wellington Airport website.

Wellington.Scoop – October 14
Wellington Airport announced late this afternoon that a majority of flights had been cancelled because of the wind. The airport’s website showed that almost all flights had been cancelled since mid-afternoon.

The wind started disrupting schedules this morning, when all regional flights in and out of the airport were cancelled. By mid-morning, flights from main cities were being cancelled as well.

The Auckland flight due to arrive at 8.30am was sent back to Auckland because of the Wellington winds. The next six Auckland flights were cancelled. But a flight from Auckland succeeded in landing at 11.02am, and another at 12.32, which was 45 minutes later than scheduled. A Christchurch flight landed at 11.20.

But the weather worsened this afternoon.

A wind warning was issued for the Rimutaka Hill Road this morning, and the road was closed in both directions from 11.30 till mid-afternoon. A driver crossing the Rimutaka Hill reported being blown completely around by a gust.

A wind warning was also issued for all of the Wairarapa. A tree has fallen on to State Highway 2 near Tauherenikau, and a truck has been blown over on State Highway 2 near the Mt Bruce Bird Sanctuary. Police warned motorists driving in the Mt Bruce area to be aware of the extreme wind gusts.

And the NZ Transport Agency warned Wellingtonians: “Would be a good day to leave bikes and scooters at home.”

MetService reported this morning: Gusts around 120 km/h are possible in Kapiti, 130km/h in Marlborough and Wairarapa, and around 140km/h about Wellington and inland parts of Canterbury.

Wellington.Scoop – October 13
Severe northwest gales are forecast for Monday in Wellington, Kapiti and the Wairarapa.

A front preceded by a moist and very strong northwest flow is expected to move onto the lower South Island in the morning, then rapidly sweep north to lie over the lower North Island Monday night and clear the island late on Tuesday morning. MetService forecasts that this system will bring rain.

Very strong northwesterlies ahead of the front are expected to rise to severe gale for a time during Monday, with gusts of 120 km/h possible.

Damaging gusts of 140 km/h are possible in exposed places of Wellington. Winds of this strength may damage insecure structures, bring down trees and powerlines and make driving hazardous, especially for high-sided vehicles and motorcycles.